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Data is often hailed as the “new oil” – a raw asset which only gains value through refinement. In 2011, McKinsey predicted that data would become a new type of corporate asset that cuts across business units in much the same way a powerful brand does. However, here in 2016 many Australian businesses remain blissfully unaware that they are sitting on a veritable data gold mine...
When properly managed and analysed, an organisation’s data can be an invaluable business tool with benefits ranging from predicting customer behaviour and identifying new market opportunities to streamlining business processes and decreasing churn. In addition to using data to improve operations internally, organisations are increasingly commercialising their data externally through publication, licensing and joint ventures. Indeed, PWC estimated in 2013 that commercialisation of data would yield a revenue of US$175bn for businesses that year, with the potential for total revenue to ramp up to $300bn per year over the following 5 years across capital markets (accounting for 30% of this potential revenue), commercial banking (20%), consumer finance and banking (35%) and insurance (15%). In some cases, data stores can become as valuable as organisations themselves. Case in point is Qantas’ $3bn Frequent Flyer business of over 10 million members which, despite Qantas’ $2.8bn headline loss in 2014, continued to post its fifth year of double-digit earnings growth.
The International Data Corporation reports that 70% of large organisations now purchase external data (and that 100% will do so by 2019), so it is unsurprising that many companies are now making data their business. Companies like SAS Institute, Oracle, Accenture and Palantir all now operate in the data analytics space, providing services that encompass data mining, predictive analytics, text mining, forecasting and optimisation.
To ensure that the value of their data is maximised, organisations must carefully protect their data throughout its lifecycle, from collection and storage through to analysis, use, disclosure and commercialisation.
Organisations should obtain all consents and licences necessary for the collection, storage, use, disclosure and commercialisation of data as contemplated at or before the point of collection, including through:
With ever increasing threats from cybercrime and hacking, the storage and security of data (including, in particular, customer data and other personal information) is paramount. Organisations should:
In making use of data, organisations should:
Finally, in disclosing and commercialising data externally, organisations need to ensure their terms and conditions: