Are You Monetizing Information?

Are You Monetizing Information?


In 2001, Gartner analyst Doug Laney, coined the term “big-data”, to articulate the impending explosion in Volume, Variety, and Velocity (“the 3 Vs”) of data in society. Much has been talked since about big-data. Today the term big-data is primarily used to describe “how” technology can handle these large and disparate sets of data, not “what” can be done with big-data.

Infonomics - In the late 1990s, Doug also coined another important but lesser known term, “Infonomics”, to assert the “economic significance of information”. Infonomics refers to a framework by which businesses could value, manage and most importantly wield information as a revenue generating asset.

Infonomics signifies the business value of information and if that’s the case should companies not embrace the concept to enhance customer experience, generate new revenue, innovate product & service offerings, and optimize margins?

While companies have traditionally leveraged information to manage expenses, drive operational efficiencies, mitigate risks etc., the purpose of this post is not to delve into those use cases.

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Rise of the info.-disruptors - While companies such as Amazon, Google,LinkedIn, Netflix are all well known to monetize information, and in the process have displaced many retailers, newspapers, recruiting firms, media companies respectively; many recent startups such as Uber, AirBnB, and Alibaba are disrupting many other industries.

Think about it - Uber - Worlds largest taxi company, owns no carsAirBnb - World’s largest hospitality company, owns no propertiesAlibaba - World’s most valuable retailer, owns no inventory

So how are these info.-disruptors able to compete with traditional incumbents and capture marketshare?

Are traditional brick and mortar companies ready for the massive disruption that’s ahead? In my opinion, it may not be long before we see many traditional products and services dissolve as information that is delivered over software in the network ether. In such a scenario, are traditional brick and mortar incumbents prepared to handle the disruption?

Here are some of the examples of what is already happening in some industries.Higher Education - Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is a rising trend with universities throwing open their course content (almost free). Companies such as Coursera and Edx are offering software platforms that facilitate this mechanism and in the process are generating large sets of data that can be used in enhancing the learning experience and a potential opportunity for monetization.

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