Data commercialisation is accelerating and will transform the CIO role: Forrester

Forrester survey finds a third of companies already sell their data in various forms

In addition to delivering data into their own enterprise, CIOs can now take that data to market and turn their organisations into generators of incremental revenue

Jennifer Belissent, Forrester

Digital transformation programmes across companies have created a wealth of valuable data.

Many companies have derived value from that data, either through cost savings from operational insights or revenue growth from customer insights.

According to analyst firm Forrester, this monetisation is internal to the organisation and is a first step in putting data to effective use.

In the next step, data commercialisation, organisations enable others to benefit by taking that data to market. This is through selling data to business partners or customers in the form of a product or service.

These new offerings not only address customer needs, but also enable CIOs to add product design and implementation to their role, reports Forrester analyst Jennifer Belissent.

In addition to delivering data into their own enterprise, CIOs can now take that data to market and turn their organisations into generators of incremental revenue, notes Belissent in the Forrester report on Data Commercialisation: A CIO’s Guide To Taking Data To Market.

She points out many digital leaders are already doing this.

Last year, Forrester surveyed 1,249 data and analytics business decision makers across the globe. A third of the respondents - 32 per cent - reported they are commercialising data.

 Forrester also finds high tech, utilities and financial services are among the top industries commercialising their data, while pharmaceuticals, government and healthcare are in the bottom of the list.

Contrary to expectations, Forrester notes B2B And B2C firms commercialise DATA equally. This means companies that sell exclusively or mostly to consumers are just as likely to commercialise data as those that sell mostly or exclusively to other businesses.

The data comes in many forms, says Forrester. They include raw data downloads or real-time data feeds, descriptive insights and self-service analytics, and data-derived insights service.

Data savvy

The report notes that commercialisation of data benefits both digital natives like Uber and Netflix, and non-digital natives.

Early adopters include Amazon, whose recommendations targeted consumers with correlations (“Customers who bought this item also bought X”); and LinkedIn, which suggested “Jobs You May Be Interested In” and “Groups You May Like.”

At the same time, Monsanto’s wide portfolio of insights services for farmers drove the agricultural company’s growth and valuation such that Bayer offered to acquire it at a 37 per cent premium over the stock price, reports Forrester.

The analyst firm advises CIOs to seize the opportunity to improve data quality, which is already within their mandate.

“Without an accurate view of the customer, businesses are unable to tailor relevant offers, resolve customer support issues quickly and effectively, and optimise experiences throughout the customer life cycle — and that’s not good for business,” the report states.

“The new market opportunity will further elevate the need to ensure good data quality and governance. Higher-quality data and trust in that data will satisfy data users, drive value, and potentially allow companies to command a higher price for their data products.”

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