Originally published June 1, 2011
The industrial age saw oil fueling all manufacturing industry processes and machines. With the advent of the services age, we are seeing a phenomenon in which data / insights are fueling business processes. However, as information starts to engulf organizations, it can become a double-edged sword. It can be a blessing for organizations that have the maturity to monetize data, and it can completely paralyze organizations who don’t know where to channel data. This article examines the emerging opportunities for information products by examining the market landscape following these 4 factors:
To illustrate how businesses can embark on an information monetization journey, this article will look at real world examples of customers from the travel and banking industries.
There are 5 key constructs to realizing a framework by which data is translated into real dollars.
Figure 1: The 5 key constructs to monetizing information
(mouseover image to enlarge)
The first construct is the mapping of potential information product buyers. For example, a well-known currency trading and settlement organization that MindTree worked with identified that customers interested in paying for their information products were regulators, major banks doing international transactions, and large corporate and brokerage hedge funds.
The second construct is provisioned data. We can think of the provisioning mode as a way of “wrapping” or “packaging” the data to suit the needs of the information consumers. For example, currency settlement data can be provisioned for a corporate banking executive as benchmark data with respect to its peer group, whereas the same data can be provisioned as an exceptional alert to trading party personnel.
The third construct consists of all information products which are available as an “information product catalog” for the end consumers. In the case of the settlement bank, it consisted of reports being available in a pre-canned format, analytical outputs from sophisticated statistical modeling process and the service of “analysis on demand,” which is a customized request to analyze data.
The fourth construct is the actual data layer that consists of raw data. This raw data is not readily in a shape and form that can be directly consumed by the end consumer. It has to go through a transformation process before it is amenable for consumption. Depending on its texture, the raw data can be structured data or unstructured data. It can also be classified into internal data or external data, depending upon the source of the data. Typically, to enhance the value of the data provisioned, it makes sense to have an information portfolio spanning all four data buckets – structured, unstructured, internal data, and external data.
The fifth and most important construct is the pricing model to monetize the data. This dictates the business model of the information monetization process.
There are 5 basic pricing models that can be used to monetize information assets. They are:
With the understanding of the various constructs of an information monetization framework, the next question to ask is “How do we go about creating new information products from existing information assets?”
Travel is a classic example of an industry that is data rich, but insight poor. We can typically use the following 5 monetization levers to help organizations find avenues to generate additional revenue stream from its information assets.
Figure 2: Example of travel industry levers
Figure 3: Potential consumers for existing travel statistics using info monetization lever 2
Figure 4: Example of analytical variables
Figure 5: Intersection of data points
After thoroughly reviewing the information monetization levers (which typically involves intensive workshops and market research), a final information product catalog evolves. It consists of 4 components:
Figure 6: Sample of information catalog
During the industrial revolution, oil played a huge role in catalyzing the manufacturing industry. As the services business grows in both advanced and emerging markets, we see the advent of information products playing a similar role in optimizing business processes. Information that was once dormant can “come alive” and generate additional new revenue streams for the organization. All it requires is the structured and methodical application of the information monetization framework to marry the end consumer with the right information assets.
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