A Better Way to Put Your Data to Work
by Veeral Desai, Tim Fountaine, and Kayvaun Rowshankish
Harvard Business Review
Most companies struggle to capture the enormous potential of their data. Typically, they launch massive programs that try to meet the needs of every data end user or have individual application-development teams set up customized data pipelines that can’t easily be repurposed. Firms instead need to figure out how to craft data strategies that deliver value in the near term and at the same time lay the foundations for future data use.
Successful companies do this by treating data like a commercial product. When a business develops a product, it tries to maximize sales by addressing the needs of as many kinds of customers as possible with it—often by creating a standard offering that can be tailored for different users. A data product works similarly. It delivers a high-quality, easy-to-use set of data that people across an organization can apply to various business challenges. It might, say, provide 360-degree views of customers, of employees, or of a channel.
Because they have many applications, data products can generate impressive returns. The customer data product at one large bank, for instance, has nearly 60 use cases, and those applications generate $60 million in incremental revenue and eliminate $40 million in losses annually.