Open data strategy can be a revenue generator

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 23, 2012

Open dataEven though big data will make enterprises smarter, it is open data that will be far more consequential for increasing revenue and business value in today’s business environments, according to analyst firm Gartner.

According to David Newman, research VP at Gartner, big data has become a topic of growing interest for many CIOs and IT decision makers, as it undoubtedly creates business value and develops sharper insights about their businesses and environments, but for clients seeking competitive advantage through direct interactions with customers, partners and suppliers, open data is the solution.

Newman explained with an example. “More government agencies are now opening their data to the public web to improve transparency, and more commercial businesses are using open data to get closer to customers, share costs with partners and generate revenue by monetising information assets,” he said.

Gartner analysts believe an open data strategy should be a top priority for any organisation that uses the Web as a channel for delivering goods and services, as it support outside-in business practices that generate growth and innovation.

Gartner analysts said that any business that has a data warehouse should consider how it can use data as a strategic asset and revenue generator. When considering the long-term benefits of an open data strategy, organisations should investigate the types of data exchange now emerging where information producers and consumers share data for profit. For instance, Open data APIs provide simple, web-oriented means for data exchange, and linked data techniques are effective for generating big datasets.

“With tight budgets and continued economic uncertainty, organizations will need leaders who can craft breakthrough strategies that drive growth and innovation. As change agents, enterprise architects can help their organisations become richer through strategies such as open data,” said Newman.

He explained open data APIs are a lightweight approach to data exchange. Their use is now considered a best practice for opening data and functionality to developers and other businesses. Organisations use APIs to generate new sources of revenue, spur innovation, increase transparency and improve brand equity.

“The challenge for enterprises is to determine how best to use APIs and how an open data strategy should align with business priorities. This is where enterprise architects can help,” said Newman.

He believes that while some internal IT functions may be using APIs to fulfill local or specific application needs, the enterprise architecture process harvests and elevates good works as first-class strategic priorities that create business-focused outcomes. As a strategic enabler, APIs are a powerful means with which to build an ecosystem, and a first step toward monetising data assets.