From raw data to real dollars, Russell Walker’s new book shows how to monetize big data

Big Data and Analytics, Innovation

From raw data to real dollars, Russell Walker’s new book shows how to monetize big data

27 Sep , 2015  

Russell Walker explores how to monetize data in his new book.

By Cheryl SooHoo

How do you turn your company’s big data into big bucks? First think big and then bigger about the value of your data, says Russell Walker EMP 64, clinical associate professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences at Kellogg.

“Your data doesn’t jump out and say, ‘Hey, I am worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” says Walker. “You must create unique data products that provide valuable solutions that answer business questions. Very few companies want to buy reams of raw data.”

LinkedIn, for instance, found gold in helping its users manage their own professional networks by selling premium services right back to them. Learning who has viewed your LinkedIn profile can lead to additional networking opportunities, but it comes with a price. Says Walker, “LinkedIn has taken data that’s essentially free to them and transformed it into products people are willing to purchase.”

Mining for nuggets of gold is just one of the key tenets of monetizing big data that Walker highlights in his new book, From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics (Oxford University Press, 2015). In it, Walker cites the profitable business models of Apple, NetFlix, and Amazon, among others. These enterprises have successfully created new products and services by utilizing the massive amounts of information being produced in our increasingly connected and digitized world.

“Aside from the innovators and disruptors, a lot of companies are just now waking up to the idea of monetizing their data,” says Walker. “Many of them struggle with how to do it.”

Providing a roadmap for business leaders, Walker’s book offers a myriad of tips, including:

  • Attracting the right talent. Fill your ranks with today’s big data rock stars: data scientists. Free them of mundane analytic tasks and let them explore and experiment with your data.
  • Sharing strategically. If you cannot fully make the most of the data that you indirectly or intentionally collect, maybe another company can. By amassing a large data set of home prices, Zillow became the go-to resource for anyone interested in buying and selling residential real estate.
  • Discovering new data streams. Future growth won’t come from adding customers but from obtaining data that didn’t previously exist, predicts Walker. FitBit and other wearable trackers have provided an emerging digital platform that forward-thinking firms from health care to insurance are already exploring for new business opportunities.

“The biggest challenge for companies is expecting results quickly,” says Walker, who consults with firms on the use of big data and analytics. “It takes a long-term commitment of people and time, and a healthy appetite for risk-taking. The value in big data will not be created overnight.”

This originally appeared in the Kellogg Executive MBA blog on September, 24, 2015.

Professor Walker provides keynote talks, seminars presentations, executive training programs, and executive briefings.

Recent talk topics enjoyed by clients have included:

From Big Data to Big Profits: Getting the Most from Your Data and Analytics”

“Data Monetization”

“Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Automation at Work”

“Winner Take All – Digital Strategy: From Data to Dominance”

“Success with an Inter-Generational Workforce: From Boomers to Millennials”

“FinTech, Payments, and Economic Trends and Outlooks in Consumer Lending”

“The World in 2050: Risks and Opportunities Ahead”

Exceptional executive training programs have included:

“Digital Disruption, Automation, Analytics, Data Science, the IoT, and the Big Data Wave”

“Master Course on Operational Risk: Measurement, Management, Leadership”

“Complete Course in Risk Management: Credit, Market, Operational, and Enterprise Risk”

“Cyber-security Training: Prevention, Preparation, and Post-Analysis”

“Managing Your Brand and Reputation in a Crisis.”

“Strategic Data-Driven Marketing”

“Enterprise Risk Management and the CRO”

Professor Walker has provided these talks and programs to leading firms and governmental organizations. Click here to learn more about his talks, references from clients, options for customized talks and programs, and details on scheduling a program for your organization.

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By  -      
Russell Walker helps companies develop strategies to manage risk and harness value through analytics and big data. He has done novel research in data monetization and digital disruption and advises leading firms on these topics. As Director of Experiential Learning in Analytics and Associate Teaching Professor of Marketing and International Business at the Foster School of Business, at the University of Washington, Dr. Walker is an academic thought-leader on analytics. Russell Walker has developed and taught leading executive programs on Big Data and Analytics, Strategic Data-Driven Marketing, Enterprise Risk, Operational Risk, and Global Leadership. Previous to moving to Seattle and the Foster School, Dr. Walker was Clinical Professor at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University, where he founded and taught many popular courses in analytics and risk management. His is the author of the book From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics (Oxford University Press, 2015) which examines data monetization strategies and the development of data-centric business models in the new digital economy. He is also the author of the award-winning text Winning with Risk Management (World Scientific Publishing, 2013), which examines the principles and practice of risk management as a competitive advantage. Dr. Walker consults with firms on the topics of Big Data and Analytics, Data Monetization, Risk Management, and Business Strategy. Russell Walker can be reached at: @RussWalker1776

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