July 28, 2022

Data Monetization Examples And Strategies


Do you have any data? Even if you don't, you can still benefit from data monetization. And here are some detailed instructions on how to do it.

If you have the data, the best way is to provide it in a simple, accessible way through an API. However, if you don't know where to start and who would be your customer, check out an article about API business ideas.

If you don't have the data, you can still monetize it. How? By processing publicly available data and making it more valuable. To learn more, read this article on how to monetize open data sets.

If you have an API that provides useful data, how do you monetize it? If you go through a list of popular pricing models, you might find the one best suited for your business (and your customers). Find out more in this article about API monetization strategy.

If you don't have an API, you can build one today without ever leaving this browser. Imagine just defining your data model through a simple UI interface, and all the necessary API endpoints are automatically created for you. That is the power of low-code technology.

Benefits Of Data Monetization

The direct monetary benefit is the first one that comes to mind. Everyone understands this one because more revenue is always better.

Getting more clients is one benefit that is rarely discussed. If you have a data API, even if it's completely free to use, it gets you exposure. If this data is something your ideal clients need, it will be easier for them to find you.

This makes your business recognizable. If you provide a reliable API service, your customers trust you more. And since you do it all for free, they also like you. And these are three main ingredients for every transaction - people do business with people who they know, like, and trust.

Attracting new talent by exposing your business to potential employees. This is especially important in highly-skilled professions like software development. Because it's never easy to find good people. So why not make it easy for yourself and allow them to find you?

Gaining a competitive advantage is yet another benefit that rarely comes to mind. By providing filtered and structured data to others, your business will inevitably go through large amounts of data.

Not everything is going to end up in your API because not every data analysis ends up finding something useful. However, sometimes you'll come across some absolute golden nuggets of insight. This strategic information might be too valuable to be released publicly, just to be snatched by your competitors the next day.

By finding and keeping this information, your business is building a competitive advantage arsenal. And that is the biggest (and most overlooked) benefit of data monetization.

Data Monetization Business Models

Types Of Data Monetization

Data monetization business models generally fall under two types: direct or external (you sell data or insights to other entities) and indirect or internal (you use the data insights to improve your own efficiency/profits).

We can also split the data itself based on its origin: internally generated (data you collected yourself or gathered from your users) and externally generated (data purchased from other entities or open data that is publicly available).

Direct And Indirect Data Monetization

Direct Data Monetization

Direct or external data monetization is the most obvious approach where you directly sell your data or insights to other entities or individuals.

Direct data monetization has several drawbacks:

  • - Privacy/legal issues
  • - Decision-makers are often not super technical (misunderstood value proposition)
  • - Businesses need to be aware this type of data can help them
  • - And they also need to be sure your data is of high quality
  • - But they can only be sure of the quality after they see/analyze the data
  • - Essentially you have a chicken-and-egg problem

And in general, it is better to sell data insights than raw data. Because it significantly reduces the chance for your competitors to get your data relatively cheaply and potentially exploit it to become more competitive. And they can do that using indirect data monetization.

So maybe you earned a little extra in the short term, but this data "leak" weakens your overall market position. In plain English, you won the battle, but you're losing the war.

Indirect Data Monetization

Indirect or internal data monetization focuses on turning available data into insights and then using those insights to improve a company's performance. It requires creativity and business thinking, but the payoff can be immense.

Whatever business you're in, you generate a lot of usable data, from big corporations to single-person operations. Even if you're just a small blogger, you can still use a small amount of data to make substantial improvements.

If you know what your most viewed pages are, you can invest a relatively small amount of effort to improve the content on those pages. Usually, a small number of pages will have the bulk of the entire site's traffic. And this is a great way to efficiently improve your website.

Another approach is to use data to identify which blog posts are on page two of search results. Improving those pages could mean moving to page one on search results. And that is a huge difference.

But in all these cases, you can see that data can help you identify critical points in your business. And once identified, you can do a very small set of targeted changes that have a significant overall effect. Also, there is no downside to leveraging your data this way, so give it a try.

Internally Generated Data

This is everything your business, website, or project generates during its regular operation:

  • - usage data (which pages are used the most and what products are most sought after)‍
  • - user data (which customers buy the most)‍
  • - performance data (which web pages get the most traffic and which convert the most)‍
  • - employee data (for example, in sales teams: which employee made the most sales)

NOTE: Be very careful when measuring performance when it comes to employee data. For example, measuring "resolved" issues per hour for customer service employees can seriously backfire.

Instead of taking a longer call to completely resolve customers' problems, the customers have to call repeatedly because no one warned them what will happen in the next step. Overall, this reduces customer satisfaction and the likelihood they will do business with you again.

And in general, when dealing with data and statistics, make sure you apply common sense and do not follow the numbers blindly.

Externally Generated Data

This is any data that is not directly generated by your business. But you identified it as useful and acquired it through other APIs or by getting publicly available data on sites like data.gov.

Externally generated data is the key to your company's growth because limiting yourself only to your own data is… limiting. And companies that use the full potential of the data are the ones that are going to win.

To Sum It Up

Whether you have the data or not, you can greatly benefit from data monetization. You can use it to find new customers and gain strategic advantage.

The best way to provide data is through an API. And the most cost-effective way to build a scalable API is using low-code technology.

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