Data Monetization: Big Potential, Bigger Challenges
Feb09

Data Monetization: Big Potential, Bigger Challenges

The concept of data monetization — the act of turning corporate data into currency (either actual dollars or data used as a bartering device or a product or service enhancement) — has been around for the better part of a decade, but it’s still very early days in transforming this concept into a reality, Dell EMC’s Steve Todd, Dell Technologies Fellow, tells IT Trends & Analysis. The power of monetization relies on variety of data sources brought together into a fluid data lake that facilitates data sharing between lines of business. “We’re seeing a lot of customers that don’t have that data lake strategy.” That’s problem number one, he says. The second big problem is that business executives have not considered business data to have an asset value. “Everybody is trying to get to data monetization but nobody is thinking about tracking that value.” So the second issue is that “data needs to be treated as a capital asset”. Also referred to as infonomics, the economics of information, data monetization is predicted to be huge in the not-too-distant future. IDC figures revenue growth from information-based products will double the rest of the product/service portfolio for one third of Fortune 500 companies by the end of this year.  Gartner predicts that 10% of organizations will have a highly profitable business unit specifically for productizing and commercializing their information assets by 2020. However the road to data monetization will be bumpy, as Todd noted. While more than 85% of respondents report that their firms have started programs to create data-driven cultures, only 37% report success so far, with key roadblocks including management understanding, organizational alignment, and general organizational resistance. The range of ways to do information monetization is endless, says Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Doug Laney, but the first and biggest vision roadblock is a failure to think beyond selling information. Rather than limit the economic potential of your information, he advises businesses to think more broadly about “methods utilized to generate profit,” which can range from indirect methods in which information contributes to some economic gain, or to more direct methods in which information generates an actual revenue stream. Todd was involved as a collaborator and in joint research on data value and data monetization with EMC and the University of San Diego. Back in 2014 EMC did a Big Data survey with Capgemini that found that 61% of the over 1,000 C-suite and senior decision makers acknowledged that Big Data is now a driver of revenues in its own right and is becoming as valuable to their businesses as their existing products and services. “The fact that monetization...

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