March 17, 2014
Data Value in the Insight Economy
By: Krista Schnell

If data is the foundation of everything digital, and Accenture’s Technology Vision states that Every Business is a Digital Business, then data is the foundation of every business (thank you transitive property)! Indeed, data plays a prominent in role in all six of Accenture’s 2014 Technology Vision trends, but it truly shines in the Data Supply Chain chapter. Rather than focus on one specific technology, this chapter looks at data holistically and emphasizes the importance of having an end-to-end view of data throughout the enterprise—and eventually extending beyond the enterprise as well. Why? Because if companies could solve their enterprise data problems, breaking down data silos to enable data access and velocity, they would be a lot closer to realizing the value latent in their data.

Let’s face it—companies want to see their data drive value and increase ROI; they want to see their data monetized. For certain companies, like Google, this is nothing new—they’ve been banking on the value of their data for some time. But for others, this could be a new, exciting space, full of promise. But where to start?

The first thing that companies must do is enable the Data Supply Chain. This means providing access to those who need it when they need it by providing a data services platform or a standardized method of data access throughout the organization. With this in place, the data supply chain can start to come to life as it capitalizes on new data sources, advanced methods of data analysis, and strategic data monetization practices. This is the basis of the data value continuum (see Accenture’s Data Monetization in the Age of Big Data for more information and an associated graphic)—where data increases in value as it moves from raw data to insights to finally driving actions, while the data simultaneously decreasing in volume. Today, we’re observing the trend of companies moving up the data value chain as they look to monetize their data.

In short, we are moving towards an Insight Economy—where analyzed data with more value is being monetized, not just through directly selling data, but also through partnerships and the development of ecosystems around that data. It’s an exciting time! We are moving towards this Insight Economy because as data becomes a commodity, insight becomes the differentiator.

The volume of big data is growing every day, and companies may not want to purchase data in order to have to store it, analyze it, and send it through its own data supply chain. They might rather purchase the insight as it directly applies to them. Moreover, if the company who produces the data also does the analysis, they will be more informed in order to make more accurate insights. And of extra importance today, privacy is better protected when data is sold as anonymized, aggregated, analyzed insights—as far from the raw data as possible. All of this leads to the added value of these insights, and all companies are interested in greater value!

Once these insights are ready to be monetized, companies should not limit themselves to selling data directly. They now have the opportunity to realize value through partnerships or developing ecosystems around their data. Now, it’s all a matter of creativity. In fact, one of the most creative examples of data monetization we’ve seen so far is in the microlender space. Microlenders allow online merchants and sellers on marketplaces to get access to capital that they otherwise wouldn’t qualify for at a bank, and they allow them to access cash quickly. One such company is Kabbage, who uses dozens of data sources—from merchants’ sales and credit history to customer traffic and reviews and UPS shipping data—to determine performance. Rather than a typical credit score, they create a Kabbage score which determines the amount of the loan they are offered and associated fees, and that’s where they make their money. In essence, Kabbage has enabled something that was never possible before but which benefits all parties involved—through the power of data.

To read more about data and all it empowers (hint – the digital business!), read Accenture’s 2014 Technology Vision.

For more, check out the 2014 Technology Vision at

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