By Jane Thomson, Managing Director at EOH Infor Services (formerly Softworx) Infor’s Master Partner in Africa, operating as a Gold Partner

The value of commercial data has never been as high as it is today. Customer data is no longer relevant only to an organisation’s marketing and financial departments. Today, the value of data extends to driving operational efficiencies, and externally to clients and outside businesses.

While most industries can benefit from the monetisation of data, here are our top four predictions for which sectors’ data holds the most value.

1. Retail

Retail can benefit from the following data:

  • Product sales patterns
  • Customer preferences and popularity of items
  • Customers’ spending frequency, average spend, and timing patterns

In retail, by understanding purchasing and sell-thru rates, margins can be improved. Data gives retailers the power to produce goods that have a marked and proven market demand. Access to customer shopping patterns also gives designers a competitive advantage when conceptualising new products. With data that shows how customers spend their money, offerings can be tailored to meet their needs, while creating opportunities to upsell.

2. Utilities/Energy Providers

 In the area of utilities and energy providers the following data areas are of interest:

  • Meter usage data
  • Weather data
  • Energy-saving data from smart home devices

With the right data, utility companies can create self-service portals to help citizens optimise their usage. Accurate usage information allows energy providers to offer usage-based pricing and predict future energy needs. Commercial real estate companies which lease smart and green buildings can also leverage cost savings, due to energy-savings, to increase sales.

3. Manufacturing

Manufacturers are already benefitting from being able to monetise the following:

  • Smart device usage (e.g. coffee / vending machines)
  • Car on-board device data
  • Data from sensors built into industrial and commercial and domestic appliances and devices

Retailers are desperate for information delivered by smart devices, which are manufactured to provide detailed usage data. Relating that to sales figures, retailers can create promotions to generate additional sales. Companies in the logistics industry also benefit from vehicles manufactured with on-board data tracking systems, using location data to improve truck utilisation, fuel consumption and greenband driving.

4. Financial Services

Financial services organisations are already benefitting from exploiting:

  • Credit card or other financial transactions by customer segment
  • Household data
  • Credit card sensor data

When customers are segmented according to their purchase patterns and spend, retailers can predict market demand and create targeted marketing campaigns. By mapping card holder information, financial offers can be extended to family and friends. Location data, stored by chip sensors, can also provide information to help businesses target their adverts to the right areas.

Monetising enterprise data gives companies opportunities to expand into new markets by creating innovative data and analytics products.



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