Multiple ways to monetise data

Data monetisation can take many forms and does not apply only to selling data to third parties, according to iOCO data experts.

Speaking during a webinar on translating data into money, hosted by iOCO in partnership with ITWeb, Varsha Ramesar, cluster executive for Data and Analytics at iOCO, Louis de Gouveia, data competency manager at iOCO and Nicole Adriaans, divisional head for Data and Analytics at iOCO, outlined how organisations could achieve real value from their data.

“The global data monetisation market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2019 and was expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.1% from 2020 to 2027,” said Ramesar. However, she noted: “Monetising data means achieving value from data – both in a qualitative and quantitative way. Qualitative value emerged during the recent KZN unrest, when there were opportunities for brands to use data to respond quickly to risks and increase customer brand loyalty, for example. The qualitative value lies in opportunities to reduce costs and improve efficiencies using automation or implementing data as a service within the organisation; increasing revenue through upsell or cross selling, adapting products, or finding new revenue streams.”

Said de Gouveia: “Data monetisation is not always about actually selling data to third parties. It could be about cutting costs or improving efficiencies. For example, if you have a monthly process that usually takes 15 days and you bring that time down to 5 days, there is a value to the employee time saved and productivity achieved.”

Adriaans added: “Data is an asset where the value grows through use. To optimise its value, a mindset change needs to take place.”

She cited five key elements for building a data driven culture within an organisation: “Power users need to be mobilised to be ambassadors for data initiatives; organisations need to start leveraging the power of insights; they need to grant data access to everyone responsibly to enable self-service; they must ensure ongoing governance and improvement of data quality; and they need to empower users with easy-to-use technology tools. When you have these foundation elements in place, you have an organisation that places data at the heart of the organisation, which positions it to drive insights, innovation and growth for the business.”

Nicole Adriaans, divisional head for Data and Analytics at iOCO.

The panel said that when moving to monetise their data, organisations first needed to know what data they have, break down silos and virtualise the data layer, ensure compliance and proper data governance was in place, and define the use cases for data projects. Starting internally was often the simplest approach to deriving immediate value, they said.

On the question of whether the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) stood in the way of organisations monetising their data, the panellists said the Act could actually improve data monetisation opportunities. Ramesar said: “POPIA forces better data quality and supports use cases where there is a benefit to both the individual and the organisation. If organisations are using data to tailor products that are relevant and add value for customers, POPIA won’t stand in their way, it will make it a clearer and better quality value exchange.”

Nicole Adriaans added: “POPIA speaks to good governance, which is essential for any data monetisation strategy, so the two are interrelated.”

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