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Disruptive Innovator and Senior Executive with a passion transforming industries by applying cutting edge technologies (Cloud, Big Data, M2M, Distributed Machine Learning, Open Source Hardware, etc.) and business innovations (Freemium, Gamification, Social, Long Tail, Pay per Use, SaaS Subscriptions, Design Thinking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Lean Startup, etc.) to generate new revenues Maarten is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 44 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

If You're Just Monetizing Your Data, You're Doing It Wrong

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With Big Data in the news all day, you would think that having a lot of high quality data is a guarantee for new revenues. However, asking yourself how to generate new revenues from existing data is the wrong question. It is a sub-optimal question because it is like having a hammer and assuming everything else is a nail.

A better question to ask is: "What data insight problems potential customers have that I could solve?"

How can you find these questions? You could start by doing some question storming. With a team during some hours you generate hundreds of data insight questions that you think potential customers might have. Afterwards you talk to potential customers and validate which problems are real, really big and do not have a valid alternative solution or a workaround. These are the problems you want to target.

There is another alternative for a problem storming session and it is to analyze real people’s questions. You can either go to specialized forums or to question sites like Quora. So if your data includes surveys involving the breed of dog or the car you drive together with other demographic characteristics then a question like “what does a dog or car tell about the owner?” might tip you off. You might want to respond with a teaser answer like: “We analyzed 50.000 household and we found that intelligent people pick different breeds then less intelligent…”. You can then link back to a page where you sell a report for a couple of dollars or ask for people to fill out a survey in exchange for the report. Having a list of people who are considering buying a dog or car can be directly sold to dealers. These dealers might also be interested in buying more reports on how to improve the perception about the breeds or brands they sell.

This is just some example but the idea is to use real questions as the basis to find top data insight questions of potential customers and to identify groups of potential customers for you data or related data. Trending and top questions in social sites like Quora can help you identify trends.

Having found top customer problems the next step is to fill out a lean canvas and find solutions, customer segments, channel strategy, unique value proposition, etc. and to validate them with your potential customers…

Published at DZone with permission of Maarten Ectors, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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