8 Analytics Trends to Watch in 2015

Business analytics are becoming 'the air companies breathe and the oceans in which they swim,' according to Deloitte Analytics. These eight trends will dominate the analytics field in 2015.

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3. Data Monetization Is Here with Risks and Rewards

Here and there, people have begun talking about a strange new idea: That data should not only be managed as an asset but valued as one. In the future, analysts and researchers say, companies will routinely monetize their own data for financial gain.

In some areas it makes perfect sense, and some companies — especially online businesses and, more recently, industrial firms — are already rebuilding their strategy around data as an asset, Deloitte says. But Deloitte also notes that many companies are likely underestimating the responsibilities that come with this data power.

"Data privacy and liability concerns are probably the most important monetization questions businesses need to consider," Lucker says. "Does the company have the implicit and/or explicit statutory or legal right, or ethical right, to divulge private consumer data through aggregation/monetization? If not, do not pass go. The risks are too great. If yes, then just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be done."

If you're thinking about monetizing data, Lucker says your first stop should be legal counsel to understand what you can and can't legally do with the data in question.

"Rights need to be negotiated up front as do agreements with customers on their plan to use the data," he says. "Much of this data is intellectual property, and as such, companies have to consider the cost vs. benefits of making it openly available."

In addition, Lucker notes there are other potential pitfalls. They include: failing to establish a data monetization business model, underestimating technology and other costs involved and ignoring data accuracy concerns.

"That's not to say it's never a good idea to monetize data — clearly there is value in doing so," he says. "But if it diverts the focus of the company from its primary strategic goals, then I'd stick with doing what the business does well and doing that better."

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