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Seven key lessons from data-sharing masters

Zhiwei Jiang
20 July 2021

Three in five organizations only participate in low-collaboration data exchanges. But, shifting the onus onto more advanced collaboration definitely has its benefits.

By Zhiwei Jiang, CEO, Insights & Data, Capgemini and Ron Tolido, CTO, Insights & Data, Capgemini
Rather like the saying, it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes an ecosystem to realize the true value of data.

Pardon the metaphor, but as enterprises across the world positively drown in data, deriving new value from it lies in how they source, select, and use only the most appropriate assets. In fact, it takes a flexible and open ecosystem – a data village, if you will – to achieve that. One that thrives on the art of shared data, a collaborative culture, and group initiative. The enterprise’s stakeholders, staff, customers, and bottom line all depend on how it is implemented.

Indeed, data sharing masters – organizations that continuously create new value in shared ownership and accessibility of both internal and external data – have the brightest future. They create superior customer experiences and highly optimized operations and drive innovation faster than their market peers. They may even completely reimagine their business model, claiming their rightful place in a new data economy.

They are the data savants who critically understand that data cannot be gleaned or analyzed in a silo. They share aggregated sources, track efficiencies, and customer behaviors across businesses and industries, providing high-value insights to whoever might be looking to use them.

And the difference is often made by data from external sources: the data out there that complements the enterprise’s own data, creating unique, surprising insights and superior, killer algorithms. This is where the notion of data ecosystems comes into play – organizations pooling their data resources in cross-industry partnerships, getting more value out of data for all parties involved.

The Capgemini Research Institute’s brand-new ‘Data sharing masters’ report outlines how important data ecosystems exactly are for future business health, growth, and reimagination. To whet your appetite for it, here are 7 lessons that struck us most:

1. Data ecosystems are taking shape

Admittedly, the notion of data ecosystems is not necessarily entirely new. But only now are organizations starting to make a significant impact with them across their business. And it sure pays off, looking at the numbers. Those already engaged in data ecosystems today see an improved customer satisfaction of 15%, increased operational productivity of 14%, and reduced costs by 11%, year-on-year. It makes the majority of organizations much more bullish about data ecosystems than ever before, expecting to see the same level of benefits achieved in the next three years. Also, 54% state a renewed push to monetize their data as the main reason to get busy with data ecosystems.

2. Data sharing is platform caring

Alongside this obvious enthusiasm, new forms of data sharing are emerging – designed to allow organizations to share data in less intrusive, more anonymous, and rock-secure ways. The next generation of data sharing platforms are evolving/have evolved that enable data collaboration with even the toughest competitors, without ever giving up even a fraction of data privacy, security, and ownership. Yet, 56% of organizations cite a lack of suitable data-sharing platforms as one of their top challenges. A carefully crafted platform strategy – and accompanying architecture – is hence needed to fully reap the phenomenal benefits of data ecosystems.

3. Data monetization is unexplored

It’s ostensibly on the bucket list of many executives, with chief data and digital officers in the front row. Data monetization – creating new, organic value with data as the key asset – has tantalizing potential, especially within the realm of data ecosystems.  Yet, it turns out that only 43% of organizations are successfully monetizing their data.  First things first: if data monetization is indeed the aim, organizations must ensure they can properly identify the value of their data assets. Only then they can start to think about their data monetization market strategy, data ecosystem choices, and pricing options.

4. Data sharing delivers on investment

Did we already point out that sharing data can bring enormous financial benefits? Just to make sure: we are talking about an estimated $940 million over the next five years with data ecosystems realized on a supranational level. Something to get your mind set on. But it’s going to take money. A whole lot of spending money. Over the next two to three years, most organizations are expected to invest between $10 million and $50 million in data ecosystems (averaging about $40million). Clearly, this may vary considerably per sector and region, with telecoms and banking set to be the biggest net spenders, and the UK and US being the most committed regions to invest in data ecosystems.

5. Data ecosystems thrive on rules

Data powers growth. That’s why, for example, the European Strategy for Data aims to create a leading data-powered society – in a data market worth €550 billion by 2025. As a key part of this strategy, a single market for data is established that will impact large-scale data gathering, sharing, and use by governments, private companies, smart cities, across regional aggregators, and anybody looking to disrupt with data. Rules and regulations thus facilitate trustworthy data sharing between all parties involved. It also spurs innovation. As the pandemic has shown, the more and better-quality data is shared, the stronger results are achieved for the economy, and society in general.

6. Data sharing needs active collaboration

The complexity of collaboration is still a barrier. Three in five organizations only participate in low-collaboration data exchanges. But shifting the onus onto more advanced collaboration definitely has its benefits. 14% of organizations currently involving themselves with more intense collaborative data sharing models are set for a financial advantage to the tune of $378 million over their peers. A good place to kick off more data collaboration can be internal: sharing data with other departments can itself serve the need for a use case, and it’s a useful practice. Alternatively, organizations that struggle to share data internally may learn and benefit from high-exposure collaboration externally

7. Data ecosystems for positive futures

Data ecosystems can bring much more than ‘just’ financial benefits to the parties involved. Many organizations already boosted their progress on sustainability goals by sharing data. For example, data aggregated from vehicles can not only bring new revenue streams to automotive firms but can also be used to battle pollution. 60% of organizations mention progress on sustainable development goals or climate change as a top driver to take part in data ecosystems. Organizations that still struggle to put together their financial business case for data sharing, may find that collaborating on data for positive futures provides a much more compelling way forward.

For more information on how to become a data-sharing master, download the report.