Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 53 seconds

Is your company a data company? Whether you actually sell software that monitors data or run a brick and mortar store, the answer is yes. Monetizing data a business already collects can significantly increase a company’s revenue.  Gartner defines Data Monetization as “using data for quantifiable economic benefit.”  Whether that entails selling your findings to third party sources or using this intelligence to create a more efficient product is up to the organization itself.

Chances are, your organization has already garnered a slew of facts and figures from your products, but  are you collecting the correct statistics for your business? “You need to understand the business so you can understand the value of the data and then [you can] monetize it,” Young Bang who is now the Executive Vice President for Growth at Atlas Research told Information Week back in 2016. To Bang’s point, if you do not understand the needs of your industry you won’t be focusing on the correct statistics to collect.

For instance, let’s say I create a free application called “Lots of Quizzes!” for smart phones. The app comes with a variety of quizzes that ranges from, “Which Harry Potter Character are You” to “Which Diet is Right for your Body Type.” I can analyze which quizzes performed the best and create complimentary quizzes. For instance if the number one quiz on “Lots of Quizzes!” revolves around Harry Potter, the next quiz I may create is “Which Hogwarts House Should You be Sorted Into?”or “Which Harry Potter Actor Do You Look Like?”

Where's the money

By collecting data from these three Harry Potter related quizzes alone, I have just obtained a huge data set. I can monetize these figures in any of several ways. For one, I can use the traffic statistics to market my app to potential advertisers. Or I could sell my data-sets from these quizzes and others to potential clients. For instance, a quiz entitled, “Which Musical Genre Are You” could include questions revolving around the users favorite types of music. It could also ask a question about their age range. I can sell this intelligence to a radio station wanting to know more about trending musical genres. Theoretically, I could also be approached by a Lifestyle company who is interested in creating custom workouts for their clients. They could propose a certain quiz that has questions relating to their business. For instances, “Which Workout Are You”? The questions could include, “What is Your Age?” “What are your fitness goals?” “Which exercise activities interest you the most?” “How often do you go to the gym?” The lifestyle company could build better workouts using this data better their product and I could continue to offer my application to my users for free.  

These are just some of the ways that companies can monetize their data. There is no one right way to monetize data, each business needs to come to their own conclusions on what is best for their company. But if you do decide to use statistics to create a revenue stream for your company it’s best to discuss with your legal department before taking action. This is especially important if you’re thinking about selling sensitive information. The last thing you want is a lawsuit from a disgruntled user because you did not clarify that by using your application, they are giving your company permission to use/sell your data. 

Last modified on Monday, 18 February 2019
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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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