Embedded Analytics

What Are You Doing With Your Data?

Data as a Product

In this video, we explore the best way to data about your products and services into a valuable product on its own.

As Edd Wilder-James once said, “Data products are the reason data scientists are lately treated like rock stars.” Data products operationalize analytical insight. And that’s what monetizing data is all about. The automobile is a good example for the potential of monetizing data. It illustrates that data about a product can be just as valuable -- if not more valuable -- than the product itself for generating revenue and increasing customer loyalty.


Hi, everyone.  We’re in a data-driven economy now.  And data-driven organizations are starting to realize that sometimes the data about a product is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the product itself.

An Automotive Big Data Use Case

Let me give you an example by using the most iconic product ever created, the automobile.  There is a ton of information surrounding an automobile without which it would make no sense to even make the car in the first place.  Without which the car essentially ceases to exist.  So, let me give you some examples of these dimensions of information.

The Importance of Customer Data

First, most importantly, is the information about the customer and the prospect, who buys the product?  What are their demographics, their psychographics, their geographics?  With that detailed customer and prospect information we can define a buyer and prospect personas.  And with those we can create specialized marketing and sales campaigns, specialized financing and leasing deals.  We can also better understand the sales cycle for each type of customer and tailor that cycle to them so that we can accelerate the process of getting them from inquiry into a sale. So, that’s information about the customer.  Most importantly this information about how the customer who actually buys the product uses the product.

Automakers Have Been “Blind” Without Data

And this is where automakers are completely blind.  They have no idea how customers actually use the product except for a few that they’ve invited to a focus group.  So, how do they drive the car, fast, slow?  How much acceleration, deceleration?  How much braking?  What features do they use in the car, the radio versus the CD ROM, the lights, the bucket seats, the mirrors, the back seats?  How many passengers do they take on an average ride?  How far do they go?  Where do they go?  At what speed do they go?  Do they drive differently in different types of weather, during the day, during the night, in rain or dry?  And what are the average types of accidents this car with this type of customer get into? I dare say if automakers knew the product usage data, how customers are actually using their product, it would dramatically affect the design of the cars.  

Selling, Distributing and Servicing

Third, we can look at who sells the product or distributes it?  Here the automakers are doing relatively well.  They understand who their dealers are.  They might understand what kind of advertising they do and the marketing they do to sell the product.  They might understand kind of the banks their using for financing.  They certainly track their sales performance by dealership and by individual or salesperson and other types of campaigns that they run. Obviously, if you’re not doing a great job selling the product and you don’t make enough money, well, there’s no point in making the product anymore.  So, the product ceases to exist.

In the same way we can take a look at well who services and supports the product?  Here, again, automakers are doing relatively well.  They know who their repair shops are at the dealerships are, the parts and the dealers of those parts to maintain the car, who insures the car and the kind of warranties on those cars and those parts and the consumptions of those warranties.

Again, without this information it becomes very hard to maintain a healthy market for the product and to keep customers happy.  So, there’s a lot of information around the product that’s critical and essential to selling it without which the product doesn’t make sense to sell, to build and it doesn’t exist.

Mining Data for Value

Now, we can take all that data I just mentioned and we can start to mine it.  And from mining this data we can create value added data that we bring back and even sell back to customers as a product.  So, let me give you some examples.  Wouldn’t it be great to give a customer your automobile benchmark data so that you could go to them and say customers like you drive 12,000 miles a year?  They get 23 miles per gallon on average.  They spend $650 in repairs a year and they keep their cars for 6.5 years.  You know, it’s not vital information, but it’s useful to the average car owner.  They might find that this information helps them make decisions about how to use the car, when to sell it.

Using Big Data To Personalize the Driving Experience

Also, and this is where automakers are doing relatively well, they can take a customer’s profile, whether indirectly or directly, and start to customize features within the car, such as provide digital key locks, temperature settings that are automatically set, dashboard displays that display to the way the users want to see the information on those displays, position the seat automatically based on who, you know, unlocks the car, tune the radio to the person who unlocks the car.  And then recognize other cars on the road based on some communication system.

Cars can also provide event-driven alerts and they’ve been doing this for years and this is getting more and more sophisticated, when to change the oil, when to change the brake pads, when to come in for a 25,000 mile tune up.  This can be done in the car itself or via email or social media.  When a front end alignment is needed and the next one I would personally like a lot, that having spent $50,000 on a car, give me a blind spot detector and give me traffic alerts that come to me.  I don’t have to go get them when I should be taking another route.  And, finally, treat me personalized.  Give me personalized financing terms, leasing terms, based on who I am and what business I’ve done with you in the past, give me preferential scheduling for service, free rentals, upgrades, discounts if I’m a valuable customer to you.

So, a lot of automakers have been doing these kind of things, as well as their dealership networks, but there’s obviously much room to grow.  And automakers, if they get their arms around this data they can make their cars, their products, much more valuable if they’re personalized to the buyer and the rider.  And they can also, perhaps, even sell some of this data at a premium to customers, such as the benchmark data. So, in the end data, information, as important, perhaps more important than the product itself.

What Are You Doing With Your Data?

Learn how data about a product can be just as valuable, if not more, than the product itself for generating revenue and customer loyalty.


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