Leveraging the data economy


Hidden within this huge volume of data are insights into consumer behavior, emerging market trends, and even future forecasters. For organizations, the goal is to find innovative ways to make sense of this rapidly growing amount of data and extract sustainable value from it, while efficiently managing the consumption of cloud services that support data management and analytics.

Yet according to a survey of 255 business leaders and decision makers conducted by MIT Technology Review Insights, 45% of respondents say they only use data for basic insights and decision making. This is a missed opportunity.

“There’s an absolute data source explosion inside and outside the organization,” says Channa Seneviratne, director of technology development and solutions at Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company. “As a telecommunications company, our customer base and the data it generates is a great asset that we probably don’t use as efficiently as we can.”

But that’s changing as Telstra takes advantage of today’s data economy. The data economy is the global digital ecosystem where data producers and consumers (businesses and individuals) and government and municipal agencies collect, organize and share aggregated data from a wide variety of sources. By connecting unconnected data across industry boundaries, organizations can gain richer business insights, tap into unexplored markets, serve both citizens and consumers with data-driven products and services, and monetize their data by externally sharing it with key customers and suppliers.

Advantages of participation

So how can organizations participate in the data economy? One way is to eliminate data silos that can prevent companies from gaining compelling insights. Fortunately, more than a third (35%) of respondents collaborate with partners to exchange data. This sharing of data assets helps organizations realize value and drive significant business results.

For example, 66% of those who share data assets experience better collaboration with partners and vendors. It’s easy to understand why. Data exchanges and marketplaces provide multiple stakeholders a secure and reliable platform to collect and share information in real time.

More than half (53%) of business leaders say participating in the data economy has driven them to create new business models. For example, using IoT-enabled monitoring devices, Telstra offers applications that turn waste, water, air, soil and noise data into actionable insights. By combining this data with microclimate data collected from weather stations, the company plans to provide Australia’s agriculture industry with information that can be used for activities ranging from predicting the health of crop yields to determining pesticide use. “We bring together isolated pockets of data to create more value, insights and applications,” says Seneviratne. “We are now in a better position to monetize and add value from this data.”

Telstra is not alone. According to Kent Graziano, chief technology evangelist at Snowflake, a data cloud provider based in Bozeman, Montana, “As the volume of data grows, many organizations are realizing that the data they have can be useful to other organizations, either within the industry or in adjacent industries.”

Graziano offers the example of a medical device manufacturer. Medical devices can track and collect critical information about a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and insulin levels. However, most manufacturers play a minimal role in influencing and shaping patient outcomes.

By partnering with healthcare organizations and securely integrating monitoring data with other patient and third-party data, a medical device manufacturer can create a new business model as a healthcare information provider with a direct impact on patient health.

“Many organizations collect and analyze data, but trying to monetize that data has never been technically feasible or economically efficient for them,” Graziano says. Businesses can “develop a new revenue stream” by sharing data with key stakeholders through cloud-based platforms such as a data exchange or marketplace.

Another benefit of the data economy is faster innovation, according to 52% of respondents. Traditional companies face unprecedented pressure from their digitally local counterparts to innovate and respond rapidly to evolving customer preferences and market trends. Using data from a wide variety of external sources, organizations can explore innovative approaches to designing products, delivering services, and even solving the world’s problems.

For example, credit card companies can work with healthcare organizations, cell phone carriers and e-commerce players to use their integrated data to track covid-19 patients and provide them with care that would not be possible alone. with siled datasets.

“How does a 200-year-old business innovate in a digital economy?” Asks Sunil Senan, senior vice president and head of business for data and analytics at Infosys, a digital services and consulting firm based in Bengaluru, India. “We think data is a big part of finding new ways to continue serving customers and stay current in a world full of disruptions.”

More than half (51%) of respondents said that in addition to creating new business models and fostering innovation, participating in a data economy can increase customer acquisition and retention rates, while acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers. Increased revenue as a key business advantage.

Download full report.

This content is produced by Insights, the exclusive content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editorial staff of MIT Technology Review.


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