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  • Writer's pictureHugo Pinto

Next decade in Data: Value beyond selling Data

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Since the beginning of the decade we’ve seen industries trying to monetise their data.

Telecommunications companies tried to codify the value of mobility data, Programmatic advertising tried to hyper-target across platforms and quantified-self companies tried to bridge their apps business to health and wellbeing. But they have mostly been focusing on the wrong outcome: increase API calls to data stores, or selling user information.

Now that infrastructure is commoditized and all main cloud vendors offer the same seamlessness in aggregating, virtualising and consuming data at a reasonable price, the stage is set for scaled uses of data to blossom. I’ll share a series of articles on the next decade in data, featuring examples and ideas on how to capitalise on this trend.


Rediscovering growth (continuously)

The scenario I’ll plot is for companies that need to reinvent their strategy for growth. As the great Omar Abbosh explained here, they need to find their next S-curve.


A good example for how data is the vehicle for this is thinking about 2 key dimensions data will add to your business: finding the bigger mission your customer is on, beyond your product, i.e., mortgage vs more space for the family; enabling the ecosystem to leverage your data and product to design new business models.

Let’s imagine the scenario: You’re in the sports shoes business, is there another way to differentiate your product rather than price, design, marketing and distribution? Are the shoes a part of a more emotionally meaningful and bigger business?

I have a friend that does shoe customization – he decorates each individual shoe by hand, according to his friends’ requests. There’s other people that do this in every corner of the world, and some of them do this for sports legends (like Joshua Vides does for LeBron here).

So is there a way to find these individuals across the globe and build a marketplace (platform) for them to provide the differentiation you want for your shoe?


Rethinking who your customers are and what’s your role

You might not increase the volume of shoes sold (which you will) but it opens up 3 value streams:

  1. Revenue share on the commissions the artists charge

  2. Enable other shoe categories to have the same customisation – enabling you to monetise beyond your core market

  3. Enable your competition to sell through it as well – monetization of competitor sales

Your mission has just gone from selling personalized shoes, to a sneaker artist community.

And there are much higher margins in this business than in shoes. But there’s also another byproduct, which is creating a way for people that had no way to monetise a talent to legally do so.

There are also many different ways to market this marketplace, which data and insights will help you decipher.

  1. Which sports communities are the prime audience?

  2. Which influencer strategy you need to put in place to ensure pull?

  3. What other models like branded stores can you learn from successful marketplaces like amazon or zalando?

  4. What social commerce role is and how you can build a presence beyond your platform?

This is just a theoretical exercise, but wouldn’t it be just great?


Quick Recap:

  1. Find a bigger cause – maybe in what your customers are trying to achieve

  2. Think digitally and how you can engage a segment at a global scale

  3. Think about the converging objectives of those two audiences and how to digitise that value exchange

  4. Evaluate how these build on your capabilities and strengths

  5. Put together a team to build this venture like a startup would


You don’t need 200 data scientists to wield your data, you need multiple skillsets working together, in which everyone understands the value in data. Training non-technical teams in data-driven thinking and continuous measurement and improvement is critical and will differentiate organisations moving forward.


Get in touch if I can help set this up for your team’s re-skilling journey.


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