Data Economy o data economy is defined as an ecosystem of digital data that emerges as we share, monetise and co-evolve information assets. The value of active resources increases as this ecosystem grows; a network effect is created as more data and knowledge is exchanged. Competition is fierce and it is necessary to innovate, or else die. Competing and winning in the data economy requires us to think differently about how value is created. To win we must define, understand, measure and maintain a healthy ecology in and around our data ecosystems.
In February this year, the World Economic Forum published a research paper entitled Digital Platforms and Ecosystems that makes direct reference to how technology platforms enable the data economy: Data economy, ecosystems, and platforms.
Let's define what an ecosystem is in a business context.
In his book Predators and Prey; The New Ecology of Competition, James F. Moore recounts, in detail, the definition of business ecosystems and how the ecology of business ecosystems thrives or dies. Moore draws on parallels from nature; how things compete for resources, the need to adapt to changing environments, the protection of territory, the establishment of dominance, the spread of information, the maintenance of equilibrium. His research established a shift in understanding how cooperative networks work in a value chain to help us innovate.
Data economy is based on the overriding principle that data is an asset - the new oil. The data economy is a by-product of how companies have seen opportunities to do business in the digital world. Data ecosystems are created and exploited to generate business or save money.
So, what does a data ecosystem?
Like any ecosystem, there are biotic and abiotic parts (humans and machines). There is a life cycle for data; data can be at rest, in motion or at work. There are also analysts (quants, data scientists, data architects), consumers (analysts, executives) and de-composers (data stewards, DBAs, testers) in this ecosystem. These are the key capability areas to focus on, to maintain a healthy ecology:
Competition in the data ecosystem is fierce. We must create defensible positions to maintain competitive advantage. We must also stay healthy, protect ourselves, make calculated decisions, adapt and innovate.
Key challenges to focus on:
- Is it balanced?
- Are we investing in the right capacities?
- Are we improving our ability to attract and project value?
- Are we maximising the value of data assets?
- How do we fill the gaps quickly, to limit risk and optimise return on investment?
To compete effectively, the focus cannot remain inward. We must look outward to attract the right partners, suppliers and customers that will support and grow our data ecosystem ecology. The true value of our data ecosystem is valid when investments have been optimised so that we can drive more meaningful interactions along the value chain.
We see customers using our platform to produce information assets, extend data and information to customers, suppliers and partners. With business intelligence toolsLike Qlik, we get data and insights to market faster and more cost-effectively than anyone else. We enable new ways to interact and create value.
Investment in data visualisation tools enables a shift from internal to external focus, from supply-driven economies of scale (as seen in the 2nd industrial revolution) to demand-driven economies (in the 4th industrial revolution). When our customers use Qlikvalue creation moves from inside the company to the outside. When the investment works, a community flourishes, the ecosystem adapts and the value of technology investments increases.
Competing and winning in the data economy requires us to harness people, processes and technology to maintain the ecology of our complex business ecosystems.