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Posted by Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D. on January 8, 2014
Last month, GovLabs, a research organization at New York University released a beta version of its Open Data 500 project. The study set out to profile US companies that use open data to generate new business and develop new products and services. Not all of the companies identified have been profiled but the list of 500 provides a wide range of both existing companies and start-ups that benefit from the use of open data.
While the start-ups are interesting illustrations of innovation and economic value-creation, the presence of big, existing companies illustrates how data transforms business.
There are also a few others that we’ve been following that didn’t make it onto the list, but that are using open and other external data to better engage with their customers and improve the customer experience. While the data-driven services might not (yet) be a critical part of their business, these big companies are clearly innovating with data.
Despite these great examples of data innovation, there remains a larger potential. According to Forrester’s Forrsights Strategy Spotlight on Big Data, Q4 2012, only about 1/3 of existing firms consider external data as important to their business strategy. Even fewer (only 15%) consider unstructured external data – the social data that Starwood is providing to hotel guests to help them pick their evening’s entertainment. But a closer look at the data suggests that they really should. Higher growth companies are more likely to see external data as important to their overall business strategy – including using data-driven services to engage customers and improve the customer experience.
How can you better engage with your customers with data-driven services? If you're not, your competitors just might be.
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