Our Chicago Data & Analytics team hosts a community of interest for high-level leaders in the D&A space and business executives with a passion for the power of data. We share some key takeaways from our gathering.
This year, our Chicago team built a community to facilitate collaboration between data-minded leaders facing similar business challenges and opportunities.
On September 14, the group hosted an in-person event where over a dozen Data & Analytics executives gathered at a historic venue in the heart of Downtown Chicago.
Many companies – finding themselves sitting on piles of valuable data or with internally facing data assets – invariably ask themselves, “Can we make more money with this?” And then answer with “Probably, but how?”
This quarter’s community event focused on data monetization. The group talked about how to create customer-facing, revenue-generating data products – and a non-technical and non-product-oriented company led the conversation. Tessa Pritts, Director of Business Development at Mérieux NutriSciences, shared her company’s data monetization journey and led a spirited conversation around developing a now-core product offering inside her laboratory-science-oriented company.
Some key learnings from Tessa’s presentation and the group discussion included:
1. Define your value proposition with your customers
It is critical in many stages of product development to focus on value. Develop a hypothesis about why you think your product would be valuable, then test it with your customers. Do they think it would be valuable? Don’t be afraid if initial feedback is no – find out why or why not. What specific things would be valuable to your customer? Use their input to hone your product design.
2. Understanding value will also help you with pricing
Many companies embarking on the data monetization journey that do cost-based pricing ask themselves, “How can I recoup my costs? What did it cost to develop this product? OK, let’s price to cover.” The sad truth is your cost is irrelevant to customer value or how much they’re willing to pay.
3. Manage risk and risk perception of your stakeholders
Pivoting to product development as a core capability can be scary. Acknowledge and address the risks. Which risks do you need to accept? What can you mitigate? How? What happens if the risks become a reality?
4. Think about supporting the product while you build it
If you have committed to building a market-facing product, you will have to maintain and enhance it. Have a plan for how you will do this after the initial release. Development and support work best as separate teams.
5. Build a product roadmap
If, after MVP and launch, you decide this is still the right path for your company, build a roadmap. Gather feedback from your clients and understand what future features and enhancements they want. Same from your internal team. Document, prioritize and plan them out. Tie requests to dollars (i.e., effort to impact). Think about if and how you want to handle customizations. While they can be valuable, they also create a whole new layer of complexity to manage.
The gathering led to an engaged and interactive discussion that continued into a cocktail and appetizer hour.
One of our higher-education members enlisted the group’s help with an academic study they’re conducting in the D&A space. We also shared information about an open data leadership position for a Chicago company, so we could make any appropriate referrals and connections.
Our Chicago Data & Analytics team will continue to co-host D&A Community of Interest events throughout the year. We gather once each quarter to break down topics related to data fabric, data privacy, data quality, cloud-native capabilities, real-world data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more. The group discusses real use cases around these topics and how our members are creating business value through information.