The ability to monetize enterprise data gives companies the ability to seek new opportunities, expand into new markets and develop innovative new products. Data monetization is generating a lot of interest in the C-suite and corporate boardrooms; already, industry analysts have called enterprise data “the new cash cow” and “the new gold rush.”

CIOs along with sales and marketing executives are under pressure to turn data into new revenue opportunities. If your company already collects usage data for your customers, how can your internal teams use that data to create new sources of revenue?

Gaining Actionable Intelligence from Usage Data

Using usage trends, you can identify the best customers to target for cross-selling of additional products or services. You can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, which customers are likely to accept an upsell to a higher level of service.

Usage data can also reveal customers with patterns of low usage who may be unsatisfied or who may not be fully utilizing your product. If you can remediate their concerns, you can reduce customer churn and improve the average lifetime value of your customers.

Choosing a Platform for Monetizing Your Data

Going forward, customer data will be among—if not the most—important assets of any enterprise. The best customers will be identified by data; the customer experience will be enhanced by data; and new products and services will be developed based on data.

In order to embrace the value of data at the enterprise level, your company will need a data monetization platform that can benefit the entire organization. The system should be able to collect and monitor real-time, digital customer activities, such as application usage or consumption of power, data, storage and bandwidth. These activities should be measured and recorded, along with any human and physical resources required to complete a project. You should be able to be easily bill customers based on this bundled resource usage.

Here are some of the most important capabilities a data monetization platform should deliver to your organization:

  • Flexibility and Scalability: Your customers’ preferences will change and so will the way you want to use and monetize your customer data. As your business grows, it’s likely that the amount of data you monetize will expand rapidly.
  • Usage Pre-Processing: As the amount of data collected explodes, it can be easy to overwhelm back-office software systems and bog down servers with data that is not needed to monetize products and services. Your monetization platform should use a usage rating engine to pre-process the usage data externally, sending only the relevant data to your system of record.
  • Rules-Based Rating: The usage rating engine should use rules that you can configure easily in order to control entitlements, services and containers. You should be able to create exclusionary or inclusionary rules for almost any packaging or service contract setup. Being able to leverage a powerful, agile rules-based rating engine will enable you to streamline your billing operations and keep costs under control.
  • High-Value Real-Time Usage: Your monetization platform will help you collect usage data a high degree of quality and granular detail. You’ll be able to leverage this real-time usage data to automate critical events within the bill cycle, such as sending upgrade offers or charging for overages to customers anytime.
  • Service Identifier Mapping: The tracking of physical components assigned to or used by customer is a critical step to leveraging usage data. It can be especially tricky if you need to track multiple devices across accounts. Cloud application and infrastructure providers in particular have better visibility into customer usage when multiple device identifiers can be applied to client accounts and used to customize billing.
  • Flexible Pricing Paradigms: Most ERP systems are limited by the pricing paradigms they can support, but a multi-dimensional data monetization platform has almost unlimited flexibility in packaging and pricing. You should be able to build rules logic as easily as you would create financial modeling using a formula in a spreadsheet.
  • Product Bundling: Many systems are limited by the product bundles and packaging strategies they support. This inevitably leads to product catalog creep; sometimes exploding to hundreds of thousands of needless variations created because of system limitations. You should be able to bundle produces or services together and create sub-allocations for cost basis. The monetization platform should also be able to manage discounts and pricing tiers, accurately and at scale.

If your company wants to turn customer data into an enterprise-level cash cow, you’ll require the flexibility, agility and scalability afforded by a data monetization platform. It will help you automate how you handle customer data how it’s rated, so you can easily bill for new products and services as well as better analyze your customer usage and behavior patterns to maximize wallet share.