The new data economy isn’t about data; it is about insights. How can I increase the availability of my locomotive fleet? How can I extend the longevity of my new tires? How can I improve my on-time-in-full rate? Which subscribers are most likely to churn in the near future? Where is the best location to build a new restaurant franchise or open a new retail outlet? Business decision-makers want answers to these kinds of questions, and new insights services providers are eager to help them.

A growing number of companies recognize the opportunity their data provides, and they take that data to market: 1/3 of firms report commercializing data or sharing it for revenue with partners or customers. The recently published Forrester Report Top Performers Commercialize Data Through Insights Services discusses the new trends in data commercialization: who is buying, who is selling, and what offerings are available, from direct data sales to the delivery of data-derived insight services.

The percent of organizations engaged in data commercialization by industry, according to Forrester.
The percent of organizations engaged in data commercialization by industry, according to Forrester.

While some commercializers avail themselves of data markets such as Dawex or DataStreamX, many are creating more sophisticated data-derived products and services. They are becoming insights services providers, often as an incremental offering to their existing customers. Some offer insights based on smart products and IoT analytics. Siemens Mobility, Boeing, and GM offer predictive maintenance for their planes, trains, and automobiles. In the agricultural products industry, companies such as Monsanto and DuPont offer services that prescribe when and what farmers should plant, when certain interventions, such as water or pesticide applications, are advisable, or when to harvest.

Not surprisingly, the technology industry is at the vanguard of data commercialization. Cloud-based enterprise applications like ServiceChannel, a provider of facilities and contractor management software, offer insights tools to track and analyze customer KPIs. MediGain, a provider of revenue management software for healthcare providers, allows customers to compare their KPIs to industry benchmarks such as indicators from Medicare or Medicaid in the US.

LexisNexis’ CounselLink Insights goes even farther enabling benchmarking across customers segmented by industry, company size or geography. Just as millennials willingly share their location with a mobile app, a new generation of business leaders recognize that sharing data in return for benchmarking and other insights is a no-brainer.

With the recognition that sharing delivers value and drives revenue growth, the trend in data commercialization will only grow.

Stay tuned for more research on how to develop these kinds of data and data-derived insights products.

(About the author: Jennifer Belissent is an analyst with Forrester Research. This post originally appeared on her Forrester blog, which can be viewed here).