As the ability to leverage data increasingly becomes a competitive differentiator, more businesses seek to monetize data by selling it outright or leveraging it to add value to products and services.
It's only logical that companies making significant investments in procuring data are seeking ways to recoup such investments. IDC predicts 100 percent of large businesses worldwide will be buying external data by 2019, with spending on cloud-based big data and analytics solutions growing three times faster than spending for on-premise solutions between 2014 and 2019.
“This trend to perceive, use and value information as an asset is still in the early adoption phase,” writes Heather Pemberton Levy on Gartner.com. “Now is the time to create a competitive differentiation by driving economic benefits from information by selling, bartering with or licensing it and using it to measurably reduce costs or increase revenue.”
That said, many businesses are failing to take full monetary advantage of the myriad data available because they don’t understand how to glean its value.
Some basic guidelines to consider if you wish to sell your data:
- Establish a product manager role. Your in-house specialist should be able to profitably manage and market your data through a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities available.
- Gauge your marketable inventory. Your most valuable data may be operational, commercial or public and derived from sources ranging from social media to your CRM to your POS. Of course, any data marketed must also be regularly vetted for quality.
- Refine and enhance. Your raw data will need to be organized, put in context and perhaps synthesized with valuable data from other sources before it can be sold. Fortunately, software tools designed for that purpose can help enormously, and may even be able to charge clients for your analytic services.
- Study other industries’ monetization efforts. How might you incorporate their methodologies to work in your favor?
- Innovate, then test. Before moving forward with new data products or services, establish a framework for gauging whether they’re likely to be practical, marketable, profitable, scalable, legal, ethical and economical.
- Get marketing. Zero in on packaging, positioning, pricing and other necessary processes.
- Enable your sales force. Let salesmen know about upselling or cross-selling opportunities for leveraging your data.
A final word: The term “indirect monetization” refers to the value realized when you strategically apply data to your in-house processes. Chances are such applications are the reason your firm invested in data gathering in the first place. But if not, you should ensure you're maximizing every opportunity to improve your intelligence regarding everything from demand planning and audience segmentation to your supply chain management.
“The new opportunities to monetize data are as vast as big data itself,” conclude the authors of a recent Accenture study on that subject. “And no doubt many are still to be identified.”