Time to make your data work for you. In Hacking the Analytic App Economy, we show you how to build a data monetization strategy that leverages your company’s data to open new revenue opportunities, drive value, and help you thrive in the new era of analytic apps.

What makes the world’s most innovative and successful companies different from the rest? One secret is constantly seeking new ways to develop their resources. And one of the biggest assets at any company’s fingertips is their data — even more so if they use a BI platform like Sisense to extract actionable insights, embed those insights in products and workflows, and differentiate their offerings in a crowded market. 

The adoption of BI and analytics have changed how business decisions and operations are made in the new business environment. Many companies are using the insights they get to embark on a bold new venture — developing their own data monetization strategy. This enables them to generate incremental revenue for and from every department — and from external customers, as well.

You might be asking “How do I do this?” Well, Charles Holive, Sisense Managing Director of Data Monetization and Strategy Consulting, has the answers in a new series of videos drawing on his years of experience helping companies build data monetization strategies. It’s called “Hacking the Analytic Apps Economy” and in these companion blog posts, we pull out key insights alongside the videos themselves so that you can start building your own strategy and get your data earning you money ASAP.

Sisense for Product Teams

Domain expertise + data = new revenue opportunities

First, let’s zoom out for a 10,000-foot view to start the planning process. To build and execute a successful data monetization strategy, you need two essential assets. Every company today, no matter their industry or market position, has these tools:

  1. Domain expertise: Your employees have domain expertise in the industry you’re playing in. 
  2. Data: This includes internal data that you create and manage for yourself and external data that you create and manage for your customer. 

“If you can combine these two assets with an analytics platform, the right innovation framework, and the right technology,” Charles says. “You can unleash a ton of new revenue for your company and create a ton of value for your existing customers.”

Choosing the right framework will help clarify your objectives so you can pin down exactly which questions you want your data to answer. Having an established framework before you start the process will ensure that all stakeholders stay on the same page. And of course, using an analytics platform like Sisense will give you the agility and flexibility to get speedy insights and easily embed them into your product. The flexible platform architecture will allow you to scale your project as your company and its needs grow and change. 

To build and execute a successful data monetization strategy, you need two essential assets: data (internal and external) and domain expertise.  

Charles Holive, Sisense Managing Director of Data Monetization and Strategy Consulting

Pick the right team to launch your data monetization offering

Now your head is probably spinning with possibilities based on your existing data stores and your knowledge of your market. But where will this new data monetization initiative will fit into your organization and who will take charge of it? To put that another way: When it comes to the role data currently plays in your company, who’s the boss? One of the greatest challenges for companies when building analytics business units is where to incubate that innovation.

“My recommendation, and where I’ve seen it working really well in companies I’ve consulted with,” Charles says, “Is [having] the data chief reports to someone neutral, like a chief innovation officer or a chief financial or executive officer.”

One misstep to avoid is deciding to incubate your new and innovative data department within a very mature business unit.

The reason for avoiding this is because you might start to get questions like “How do I close my quarter?” or “What is my forecast?” You won’t be able to answer these yet, because your monetization strategy is based on future innovation. You will generate value for your customer, you will start charging value-based pricing against that value that you’re generating, and you will be making very healthy money. But that hockey stick curve is going to be different than what other departments are used to seeing. A mature department that is used to closing out every quarter and measuring itself against certain metrics will likely not want to wait to see the positive impacts of your data monetization program. Choose wisely!  

Don’t stack your analytics business unit into a mature business unit. Innovation needs time. Aim for a horizontal CxO. 

Charles Holive, Sisense Managing Director of Data Monetization and Strategy Consulting
Timing is Everything

Platforms: Don’t reinvent the wheel

Finally, let’s refine the setup of your data monetization strategy by considering the platform you will use to build our analytic apps. Your first decision is whether to create your own platform or buy one off the shelf.

This is typically framed as the “build vs buy debate.” A simple way to help make your decision is to ask this question: Why would you spend your time, energy, and resources building an analytics platform when there are so many amazing ready-built tools available for you to use? There are hundreds of ways to create additional value for your customers and your ecosystem with the data you manage for them using a pre-built analytics apps framework.

Choosing a platform like Sisense, designed to empower builders to create powerful embedded analytics and analytic apps lets you focus on what you do best. Use your energy and creativity to innovate and deliver new value to your users. 

“The value you will build for your company will come from utilizing your domain expertise with a human edge. That will jumpstart a fast iteration process with your customers or the market you’re trying to surf.” 

Reduce the cost-to-try and you can try many more things. 

The value you will build for your company will come from utilizing your domain expertise with a human edge.

Charles Holive, Sisense Managing Director of Data Monetization and Strategy Consulting

Build boldly

Setting up a new analytics business unit to implement your company’s data monetization strategy can be overwhelming. Break it down to manageable steps and create a plan that delivers incremental value to your customers and opens up new pathways to revenue for your company both now and in the future. Making sure that your innovation center has the freedom to make new and interesting bets that might not pay off immediately is a key to helping your product teams build boldly and delight your customers.

Sisense for Product Teams

Jack Cieslak is a 10-year veteran of the tech world. He’s written for Amazon, CB Insights, and others, on topics ranging from ecommerce and VC investments to crazy product launches and top-secret startup projects.

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