I’m often asked the question, “What’s my data worth?” And my immediate (and somewhat provocative) response is “Nothing!”

Data is, without a doubt, valuable. But when stored in vaults and locked down, it is not. As the American inventor Thomas Edison asserted, “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” That sentiment was rephrased in modern terms when Christina Ho, deputy assistant secretary for accounting policy and financial transparency for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, said, “Data + use = value.” It isn’t until you know how the data will be used that you can determine its value.

Demand For External Data Is Growing

Insights professionals seek external data to enrich analysis

Insights-driven companies derive value from their data. They systematically use data to deliver better customer experiences, improve operations, and create competitive differentiation — all of which adds to the bottom line. And increasingly, these organizations are looking for external data to augment their internal resources — enriching analytics models and delivering better insights: 56% of firms are expanding their ability to source external data, and another 20% are planning to do so. New data sources replace poor-quality sources or ungrounded, weaker assumptions and shed light on problems that previously seemed intractable.

Furthermore, more successful companies recognize the value in doing that: 66% of firms with revenue growth of 10% or more prioritize external data sourcing, while only 51% of those with slow growth (or no growth) do. Speaks for itself, no?

Data Commercialization Opportunities Abound

As demand for data and insights grows, the opportunity for companies to take data to market, in some form or another, grows with it. And it’s happening: 47% of companies report commercializing their data (i.e., selling or sharing their data for revenue), according to Forrester Analytics’ Global Business Technographics®.

At Forrester’s upcoming Data Strategy & Insights 2018 Forum, I will lead a deep-dive session on data commercialization, entitled “Your Data Is Worth Nothing — Unless You Use It.” The session will focus on how to build and deliver data and insights products and services. I’ll present some trends we’re seeing in the market, but the session will highlight the best practices and lessons learned shared by those who’ve got battle scars to prove their expertise.

The experts will address the following questions:

  • Ideation: How would you advise others just starting the process of identifying a new data product or service?
  • Development: What lessons did you learn from your product development process — any mistakes made or obvious successes to follow?
  • Delivery: Which are the best channels for taking a data product or service to market?
  • Results: What are the results of your data commercialization initiatives?

If you have questions that you’d like us to ask the experts, please let us know. Or better yet, come join us at the Forum in Orlando. See you there!