By Bryan Kirschner, Vice President, Strategy at DataStax\n\nEvery digital interaction produces data. And data is what economists call \u201cnon-rival\u201d: It can be used simultaneously, without being diminished, by any number of consumers.\nIt\u2019s understandable that teams aiming to drive top-line growth might be tempted to focus the lion\u2019s share of their attention on how widely and profitably data can be sold. Monetizable data generated as a matter of course doing digital business may feel like being handed the proverbial \u201cgolden egg.\u201d But there\u2019s another question that is a litmus test for whether they\u2019ve mastered \u201cfeeding the goose,\u201d so to speak:\u00a0 What data about their interactions with you are your customers asking for?\nIf they can\u2019t answer this consistently and well, your data strategy\u2019s long-term success is at risk.\nMeeting expectations for continuously improving the customer experience through data and insights is table stakes for defending the volume of those digital interactions against churn. Half of consumers and nearly two-thirds of business buyers say they are likely to switch brands if a company doesn\u2019t anticipate their needs, for example. And nine out of 10 consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.\nWhether we\u2019re interacting with companies for work or pleasure, we are all taught to raise our expectations for personalization, prediction, and helpful insights through multiple channels every day.\nIt should only become someone\u2019s job to explore ways to sell data for cash if it is already someone\u2019s job to know the organization is using data to stay on the right side of thresholds for satisfaction and loyalty.\nAnd once you\u2019re sure you can use data effectively to retain your customers, there\u2019s another core competency that should also take priority: using data to make your customers better customers.\nBuilding Connected is one example that stands out for me. Its core functionality as a digital platform is helping builders and subcontractors streamline the bid management process. Those interactions generate data, including the number of bids submitted and won and contract values. So subcontractors are given back that data in the form of a dashboard to help them \u201cput your best estimators on the bids you want to win the most.\u201d\n\u201cData that helps me make more money and grow my business\u201d is likely something your customers want if it can be derived from the interactions they are already having with your product or service.\nLikewise, data or insights that \u201chelp me spend less\u201d would probably also be welcome.\nMicrosoft\u2019s \u201cAzure Advisor\u201d analyzes customers\u2019 cloud computing configurations and usage and proactively offers recommendations on how to optimize for performance and cost. It\u2019s a good bet that, on balance, more of its cloud computing customers will redeploy low value-add spending right back into their own digital transformation and data-driven aspirations to drive growth.\nEvery data-driven enterprise\u2019s customers probably want to turn data into top-line growth too. Making it \u201cjob one\u201d to be awesome at helping them succeed can make them not just more willing to do business with you, but more able to do more as well.\nRead about DataOps as the next stage of digital transformation here.\n\nAbout Bryan Kirschner:Bryan is Vice President, Strategy at DataStax. For more than 20 years he has helped large organizations build and execute strategy when they are seeking new ways forward and a future materially different from their past. He specializes in removing fear, uncertainty, and doubt from strategic decision-making through empirical data and market sensing.