From Understanding Big Data to Monetizing It

There have been a lot of articles about the definition of the term Big Data, but the most common involves the 3Vs, originally coined by analyst Doug Laney — Volume, Velocity, and Variety.

But as Bill Schmarzo has pointed out, most business people care about the 4Ms instead — Make Me More Money! (For non-profit organizations, Marie Breton points out that the 4Ms could equally stand for Make My Mission Matter.)

Doug Laney recently saw my cartoon above and revealed that it was exactly the kind of customer enquiries he now deals with at Gartner:

Most of our clients have evolved from asking about “What is big data?” to “How do I benefit from big data?”

Doug has been working on a new book about this entitled Infonomics, due out in September 2017. Delightfully, it uses 3Ms to define the term:

Infonomics is the theory, study and discipline of asserting economic significance to information. It provides the framework for businesses to measure, manage and monetize information as a real asset.”

Here’s an explanatory slide Doug used in a presentation on Infonomics at the Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation conference last week:

Clearly, the future of data is all about moving from the Vs to the Ms!

So how can companies do that? Today, the majority of analytics departments say that their organization still doesn’t really treat information as a strategic asset:

As Doug puts it, “most organizations have a better inventory of their office furniture than their information assets!”

And increasingly, it’s about much more than “just” business intelligence and analytics to improve corporate decision-making. Data is at the heart of new digital business models that allow companies to monetize information more directly than in the past.

In order to support companies in these efforts, SAP recently created a new initiative called the SAP Data Network. It’s an “internal startup” headed up by former SAP CIO Helen Arnold, and it’s essentially designed to help organizations with their Infonomics efforts:

“SAP Data Network helps organizations turn their transactional business data into actionable insights, enabling them to create new value in the form of unprecedented revenue opportunities, efficiency improvements and better customer experience.”

See the video here

Many of these new initiatives will be across existing company boundaries, using data to create “systems of systems” and “ecosystems of ecosystems”.

What about you, in your organization? Do you have systems in place to effectively monetize your data? If not, SAP would like to help…

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