OnPoint For Organizations

Turning Data Into Gold - Are You Missing the Opportunity of the Century?

Posted by Marie L. Clark on Jul 3, 2017 6:27:48 PM

"By 2020, 10% of organizations will have a highly profitable business unit specifically for productizing and commercializing their information assets." - Gartner


I had the privilege of attending Gartner's Tech Growth & Innovation conference in June, hosted by Hank Barnes (@Barnes_Hank.) There were many great take-aways. "The Economics of Information" is the second in a 3-part series of posts exploring how to win the war on talent, avoid robophobia and turn your data into a revenue stream.


Doug Laney (@doug_laney), Data Strategy Analyst with Gartner, delivered a keynote address on Infonomics - the monetization of data assets.

In the late 90's, Doug coined the term "Infonomics" to represent the intersection between "information" and "economics" in the quantification of data assets. He predicted the future trend to quantify the value of information and how to manage it as an enterprise asset. Infonomics has matured over the past two decades into the discipline of converting information into economic value. It provides the framework for firms to measure, manage, and monetize information alongside all other revenue generating or cost-saving assets.

For the keynote, Doug started with a story about a recent client visit. When discussing the organization's potential data assets, he asked if they tracked their existing assets. They reported tracking only their "big" assets. Later, when visiting the men's room, he observed that each urinal had an asset tag. So, this company was tracking its urinals, but not its data assets? OK, so it might have been the facilities management company tracking the urinals, but you get the point.

Are you thinking about how to use your organization's data to generate "measurable economic benefit"? If not, now is the time to start! Forward-thinking firms have already begun this practice.

By 2020, 10% of organizations will have a highly profitable business unit specifically for productizing and commercializing their information assets.Startups like Ambient Intelligence, Inc. don't have much data yet, however, have the luxury of planning data collection efforts with monetization in mind.

An interesting example of how information can deliver economic value is OptumLabs. Established in 2013, Optumlabs is a joint venture between:

  • Optum - a leading information and technology-enabled health services business that is a part UnitedHealth Group
  • Mayo Clinic - a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research, and education
  • AARP - a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership of more than 37 million individuals

Collectively, these organizations created the health care industry's first open collaborative research and innovation center. Today, OptumLabs has more than 25 collaborating organizations, representing participants from across the healthcare ecosystem.

For those of you wondering what's in it for America's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, consider the flipside of improving patient care and patient value. Unlocking health care's greatest challenges could equate to dramatically lowering cost through improved efficiency. So, in this case, the economic value is delivered by reducing costs, rather than by growing revenue.

Doug Laney is a futurist and, therefore sees the coming world order long before others. As business leaders, we need futurists who can tell us where we are going, so that we can plan how to get there.

Infonomics Book.pngFor those interested in learning more, Doug's new book, "Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage", will be available September 19, 2017 from Amazon.

Topics: Gartner, Data Science, Infonomics, Tech Growth, Analytics, Doug Laney, Information Assets, Information, Economics, Profitable, Data