Data is the new economic resource to drive revenue growth

Invest appropriately to extract the value big data promises

By Mervyn Mooi, director at Knowledge Integration Dynamics


Bill Gates said: “If I had just $1 I’d spend it on PR.” He understands the value of getting the right message to the right people at the right time. Data, as the newest economic resource, will help you figure out what that message must be, who must hear, read and view it, when is the best time to put it in front of them, and what they think of it when you do.

According to Joseph Kennedy, president of Kennedy Research, in an article hosted here by the Committee for Economic Development (CED), a non-profit US organisation:

“Big Data is best understood as an untapped resource that technology finally allows us to exploit. For instance, data on weather, insects, and crop plantings has always existed. But it is now possible to cost-effectively collect those data and use them in an informed manner. We can keep a record of every plant’s history, including sprayings and rainfall. When we drive a combine over the field, equipment can identify every plant as either crop or weed and selectively apply herbicide to just the weeds.”

And he adds: “Ways big data can transform industry:

  • Producing new goods and services, such as the Nest home thermometer or mass customised shoes;
  • Optimising business processes;
  • More-targeted marketing that injects customer feedback into product design;
  • Better organisational management; and
  • Faster innovation through a shorter research and development cycle.”

The Latvian Presidency of the Council of The European Union presented a paper called: Big Data and Cloud Computing – Resources for a Digital Economy in March 2015 (read the full paper here). In it they said, amongst other things, “…empirical studies suggest a positive impact from the use of data and analytics of around 5% to 10% on productivity growth depending on a number of enabling and complementary factors.”

It adds: “However, in order to develop a thriving data-driven economy successfully, the EU will have to address a number of challenges that will determine its ability to maintain and advance its global competitiveness:

  • General access to high-speed Internet and free flow of data;
  • Data ownership, enforcement of copyright and incentives for data sharing;
  • Availability and security of tools/computing devices for data analytics;
  • Lack of skills in data analytics; and
  • Broader funding possibilities.

The bottom line is that big data enriches, confirms and or complements the presentations and insights you might be gaining.

The above-mentioned knowledge is valuable information that you can use in your own business. Firstly, targeted use of big data can lead to more revenues. Secondly, you must invest, appropriately, to extract that value.

Bitcoin - the ultimate cyber currency
Bitcoin is the ultimate fiscal data.

Image credit: Steve Jurvetson

We have been helping some of South Africa’s biggest financial and telecommunications companies, industries rife with data opportunities, extract value from their data for over a decade now. The opportunities and possibilities of big data excite me like never before because they are unprecedented in our industry.

You can use the data to figure out what products or services your customers want, how to change existing products or services to meet their requirements, and when and how to offer products and services to customers. Feel free to ask me about your own environment and how you can extract business value.

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