Every market disruption creates an inflection point, and COVID-19 triggered that inflection point for Industry 4.0. The role that data plays in shaping the future of business is now indisputable, yet heightened consumer skepticism, big tech backlash and the fast-evolving data protection and privacy landscape are firmly marking out the playing field for data use at a time where data collaboration holds the key to innovation and growth in a hyper-competitive market.
Today, companies that want to drive the most valuable insights at speed are looking to connect their data with the data of complementary organizations or industries in order to leverage untapped intelligence that can steer strategy and customer experiences. However, this requires a reinvention of data sharing practices that factors in the needs of consumers and companies: control, privacy, trust and ethics.
What is data collaboration?
Data collaboration is a relatively new approach to bringing together insights from different data sources to create value.
Data collaboration can refer to the internal practice of bringing together siloed datasets to align teams, enhance decision making and inform strategy. More recently, however, data collaboration has been gaining momentum as an approach to enabling companies to supplement their own data with insights from synergistic external partners. By combining insights from external partners, organizations can unlock previously off-limits intelligence and reap the commercial benefits that come with it.
As data-driven enterprises seek to gain a competitive advantage, data collaboration is fast becoming a strategic priority. According to a report conducted by Harvard Business Review:
- 78% of organizations consider it ‘very important’ to have “the ability to easily access and combine data from a variety of external data sources”
- 79% % of respondents consider it ‘very important’ to have “the ability to deploy analytics with high performance and scalability”
With Gartner noting that the “don’t share data unless” mindset should now flip to the mantra of “must share data unless”, it’s clear that privacy-centric organizations have an opportunity to jump ahead:
- Data and analytics leaders who share data externally generate three times more measurable economic benefit than those who do not.
- By 2023, organizations that promote data sharing will outperform their peers on most business value metrics.
Macro trends feeding the rise of data collaboration
The intersection of media, marketing and tech has always been categorized by growth, regulatory complexity and new dynamics. In recent years, technology has accelerated digital transformation which, in turn, has shaped the way we communicate, distribute content and engage in commerce. In correlation to this, tech-led innovation opened a vast world of targeting possibilities predominantly driven by third-party cookies that media, marketers and ad-tech companies relied on. But as we head towards a cookie-less era that promotes trust over tracking, data-driven organizations are pivoting fast to find consumer-centric solutions to retain the ability to reach their desired target audiences with pinpointed relevancy. When done with the right safeguards in place, data collaboration partnerships can enable organizations to boost customer segmentation and deliver enhanced experiences.
On top of this, progressive enterprises that want to stay on the right side of digital disruption are doubling down on their data and analytics efforts. A lot of data analysis that is conducted today still remains retrospective, but this is rapidly shifting towards forward-looking data-driven decision making. Data collaboration can help organizations to better forecast the future by bolstering predictive and prescriptive analytics efforts with richer, more accurate insights.
However, in tandem with the shifting marketing dynamics, the evolving data privacy regulations that govern the ability to repurpose data for secondary use, along with the associated compliance standards, have created a myriad of complexities for businesses that want to bring together data from multiples sources or want to unlock new revenue streams by capitalizing on the volumes of data they are now sitting on. Now that organizations have learned to live with the patchwork of regulations, and knowing there will be no universal approach to regulating the global market, the focus has turned to modernizing outdated infrastructures to ensure they are setup for continuous change so that data collaboration and innovation can thrive without compromising trust, ethics and privacy.
Despite all paths pointing towards data collaboration in a hyper-digital era, building an ecosystem that can balance all the moving parts is no easy task. As such, early-adopters of effective and secure data collaboration strategies are looking towards collaborative analytics exchange platforms that can help them to move at pace.
From ‘data sharing’ to ‘collaborative analytics’
As the pendulum swings from risk and erosion of digital trust to ethics and responsible analytics, data-driven organizations have been keen to disassociate from terms such as data exchange, data brokers and data marketplaces – terms that have become synonymous with profiteering rather than consumer privacy. But while data monetization and data privacy are often viewed as two agnostic concepts, the two can harmoniously exist when collaboration is built on the foundations of trust.
Data collaboration doesn’t have to mean data sharing. Collaborative analytics is the next evolution of data sharing and data exchange platforms; it enables companies to connect insights without ever sharing their underlying data. Forward-thinking organizations are understanding that when a privacy-centric mindset steers strategy, guardrails can be put in place to enable compliant data collaboration to thrive.
In many ways, collaborative analytics is a problem-solving approach to delivering advanced business intelligence that transcends the internal and external boundaries of data use. Conducting data analysis in a vacuum, no matter how sophisticated the teams or tools, is not a viable long-term solution for data-driven enterprises operating in an advanced, tech-led world. The most valuable insights are created when organizations have a thorough understanding of their industry and their customers. Being able to tap into the outside view of today’s consumers provides richer contextual knowledge and delivers a more comprehensive market view that business leaders can use to steer strategy and decision making.
So, what’s holding companies back from diving into collaborative analytics if the ROI is not in question?
Removing the friction that prevents companies from working together
Data is the basis of business intelligence. And the basis of collaborative business intelligence is trust. In the information economy, the most valuable business asset is data, and data analytics is the marketing superpower. While many organizations aspire to be collaborative, they want firm reassurances that they can generate value without losing control of their data, all while having an appropriate lawful basis to repurpose the data and ensuring they are not putting themselves at risk.
With privacy, security and trust sitting at the forefront of business concerns, the methods that organizations use to collaborate with data requires new thinking. Today’s BI tools were not built for the collaborative analytics demands of tomorrow. Organizations now need an ecosystem that facilitates collaborative analytics without compromising security or customer trust, all while upholding the strictest compliance standards.
These roadblocks are exactly why we launched Combined Analytics – a collaborative analytics exchange platform that takes care of the legal, technical and structural safeguards so that data-driven enterprises can focus on tapping into a connected hub of privacy-compliant insights from high-value partners without ever having to join or share their data.
The benefits of a collaborative analytics platform
When you understand the limitless potential of collaborative analytics and can confidently tap into a solution that navigates all its associated challenges, you’re already on the road to innovation. Like many of our clients, you’ll be part of an ecosystem that enables you to:
- Securely connect insights from different sources without sharing your underlying data
- Widen your customer lens with intelligence from our high-value partners
- Capture a comprehensive view of behaviors, spending patterns, preferences and intents
- Boost customer segmentation and predict future behaviors
- Generate ethical monetization strategies while controlling data visibility
- Accelerate time to insight and gain a competitive advantage with untapped market knowledge
If you would like to learn more about data collaboration, dive into this expert panel discussion or check out our Combined Analytics solution. Ready to talk? Contact us today to find out how you can drive growth and innovation at speed.