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The Economy of Data

9 Apr 2016 by Jessica Hall

When he was appointed CEO at Microsoft, Satya Nadella immediately began speaking of aligning his “cloud-first, mobile-firs” approach with up-and-coming trends like “ubiquitous computing” and “ambient intelligence.” Now offering several products that help Microsoft’s customers garner insights from big data, Nadella’s pioneering vision becomes clearer.

The company continues to expand on its goal of helping organizations leverage the business currency of the future: data. Serving more than just data analysts and scientists, Microsoft’s offerings allow all users to derive understandings from big data sets and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Microsoft solutions can add value to your organization by allowing you to leverage significant insights that reach beyond operational and analytical benefits. Take the following things into consideration if you’re looking to explore how to best derive economic value from data:

There are products that create advantages.

According to a Microsoft-backed IDC study, companies that employ a universal approach to data could benefit from about $1.6 trillion in additional revenue, reduced costs and enhanced efficiency over a four-year period. Microsoft offers a variety of solutions that can help companies leverage and monetize data to gain a competitive advantage, including:

  • SQL Server 2014, which offers in-memory processing and performance that’s 30 times faster than previous versions
  • Azure Intelligent Systems Service, a cloud-based service that gathers, stores and governs data from IoT
  • Microsoft’s Analytics Platform System, which has been defined as a "big data in a box" offering that unites SQL Server and Hadoop
  • Office 365’s Power BI, a data analytics and visualization tool that Nadella calls the “UI for data”

Using natural language queries and often leveraging familiar tools like Excel, all users can benefit from these offerings.

There are challenges to address.

“The trend to see and use information as an asset is still in the ‘early adoption’ phase, making doing so a competitive differentiator for leading organizations. But even where information leaders have embraced this idea, there's an array of challenges to transform the idea of value into a reality that benefits the organization. Information has economic value that organizations can ‘turn into money’ in two ways: selling, bartering or licensing it; and by using it to reduce costs or increase revenue,” according to Gartner’s report, “Seven Steps to Monetizing Your Information Assets,” published October 15, 2015.

To ensure these challenges can be overcome — and your company selects the best method to extract value from information — the Gartner report offers a step-by-step guide to monetizing data. Download it free through July 2016.