Navigating and Winning in a Data Economy

A new data economy – driven and shaped by the convergence of technologies like IoT, AI, blockchain, 5G and edge computing – is creating new opportunities for nations, society and employers alike.

istock 1078283750
gremlin

The competitiveness of a company is defined by its ability to create new dominant industry plays for itself and/or find plays in non-adjacent industries through data driven products and services. For instance, aviation manufacturers foraying into drones with digital and data services in commercial operations or telecom companies leveraging their customer knowledge and network performance to offer new experiences such as content or financial services.

For these industry plays to come into existence, it is essential to have a vibrant digital ecosystem powered by data that helps a network of users to derive value. In other words, have a data-driven economy.

Several factors are paving the way for a data driven economy. Abundant availability of internet bandwidth and growth of 5G will enable newer engagements through higher data transmission rates, lower latency and increased capacity.

The cost of data storage and discovery including the cost of action in real time and at scale is dropping steadily every year as technology such as AI and quantum computing evolves and growing volumes create greater economies of scale.

The evolving role of data

The role of data has shifted significantly along three horizons. First horizon creates a push for data-driven decisions in business functions and processes. In the second horizon, businesses adopt data strategy as central to digital transformation. Here data creates newer digital experiences and drives a paradigm shift from “people acting on data” to “data acting on people.” Business systems use data in the micro-moments to generate insights that prompt automated action and assist users for real-time action delivering hyper-productivity and superior digital experiences.

The third horizon is about evolving into a data economy, that establishes data as new capital, yielding economic activities both commercial and social; where data will drive demand and supply and disrupt industries. It makes products more accessible and affordable; presents newer opportunities for companies to differentiate and win; enables governments to use data as a strategic tool to drive their nations’ growth.

We are on the cusp of a data economy that is driven by the convergence of technologies such as IoT, AI, blockchain, 5G, edge computing, etc.; where data will be leveraged in unprecedented ways through collaboration, exchange and analytics.

Given the scale of this impact, this emergence of a data economy will transform not just enterprises but societies and economies at large. Here are some instances:

  • We have enabled healthcare players disrupt the industry through connected patient care attracting an ecosystem of players such as insurers, healthcare providers, emergency services and trainers, focusing on the common objective of providing positive patient outcome.
  • We partnered with an NGO to bring positive health closer to people with data and AI, thus creatively solving real-life societal issues. The challenge was to create government health centers in the right locations so that people had to travel the least for any medical attention. Three sets of data were gathered from a telecom provider and a global data project that included population density, actual residence and migration. The optimum locations were determined based on insights derived from the analysis of all the three parameters.

Preparing for the Data Economy

For enterprises to win in the data economy, there are three dimensions that they need to work on:  modernize their infrastructure, monetize the data that they gather or own, and expand their network beyond the enterprise to drive value creation through the ecosystem play.

1. Modernize

To benefit from a data economy, enterprises must first prepare their infrastructure that can manage the data surge. They need to put in place an architecture that promotes agile processes and allows data to flow rather than being restricted to siloes. The move from systems of record to systems of intelligence is crucial.

It entails the digitization of the core to enable adoption of technologies such as AI, analytics and IoT.

A leading pharmaceutical company wanted to reduce cost and time when launching new drugs. We helped them with faster data source onboarding (reduced boarding time by 10X), data discovery and optimized data processing (faster by 30%) on cloud for their key departments. We delivered a discovery insight platform to improve and track sales across channels, help faster time to market for new brands and provide insight on patient outcome through rich data strategies and advanced analytics.

2. Monetize

The next step is to monetize data to:

  • Drive value in business functions. Data can help transform every function within the organization whether it is sales, marketing, finance or supply chain.
  • Deliver on revenue and cost performance through operational efficiency. Access to data can increase operational efficiency and enhance customer engagement, enabling effective delivery of products/services with greater profitability.
  • Create new business models. Companies can innovate with new data driven product and services or even ‘data as a product’ offerings.

A leading agricultural manufacturer was looking to generate new opportunities, ensure retention and better customer experience. We enabled an advanced analytics platform that helped enhance digital experience, optimize customer segmentation, enabled cross-sell with product recommendation, lead generation and customer churn prediction. It enabled customer retention by 10%.

3. Network

Enterprises stand to gain significantly from the massive network effects of data as its impact extends beyond the enterprise to a network of players across the value chain and beyond. For instance, fintech companies can offer new experiences to consumers based on open data access. Data marketplaces will play a key role in driving innovative digital applications.

We helped a leading manufacturer with a drone flight planning solution. We enabled a data marketplace solution cloud that helped discover data from diverse internal and external data sources. The platform assessed ground obstacles, weather information, airspace boundaries, airport facility maps and flight restriction data to ensure flight plans are safe and accurate.

The Data Economy in the Digital Era

Technologies such as AI, blockchain, 5G and edge computing are powering organizations to create and participate in the larger data economy. Data is the new capital driving new business models, new products/services and new frontiers of innovation transforming both business and social sectors of the economy.

For more information, download our PDF on the "Data Economy in the Digital Era." It offers a perspective on the new data economy and how it's shaping new opportunities for nations, society and employers.

Related:

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.