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Let’s pay with a new currency: data

Data is, and will continue to be, at the core of our digital world.  Considering data as a currency not only validates the importance of data, but strategically shows a smarter use for it.  Actionable insights from unified data are key for advancing digital experiences and improving business decisions.

However, critical data is often found outside a company’s firewall or sometimes lost within an organization’s internal silos. It’s as if someone inherited a large fortune but they don’t know how to access or use it.  Now let’s imagine weather data. It is one of the biggest contributors to this fortune but is waiting for more people to put it to good use.

How’s the weather? It isn’t just small talk, it is essential for making smarter business decisions

Weather impacts everything! It is not just how we get dressed in the morning or how we plan our weekends.  It affects every industry and business. Yet most companies don’t have a strategy on how to leverage weather data to make cognitive-driven decisions.  This raises the question, “Is it because the extent of weather’s impact, or is it the lack of knowledge regarding available data and its application?  Let’s shed some light on these questions with some use cases of weather data.

  • Retail is a highly competitive industry where seasonal, geographical and/or historical weather data feeds significantly impact advertising, supply & demand planning, and overall business strategy for targeted markets.  From influencing product mix to driving retail traffic and staffing decisions, understanding the impact weather has on retail sales is a true competitive advantage.
  • Insurance companies have been able to reduce customer claims by 52% using weather based communications to help prevent damage and mitigate risk for their customers.  Receiving a proactive weather alert from an insurance company not only benefits consumers, but also improves the customer experience which ultimately drives profit.

As you can see, weather does not happen around us, but to us. Companies who don’t leverage weather data are missing out on lucrative opportunities to improve their bottom line, proactively secure relevance in the marketplace, as well as enrich their customer experience.

Come rain or shine, the real story is data

Within the last year, major companies such as IBM and Microsoft seized the benefits of leveraging third party data sources by purchasing the Weather Company and LinkedIn, respectively.  Think about it, both vendors have similar intentions. IBM didn’t purchase the Weather Company to get into the weather business, but to advance the decision making business (analytics). Microsoft didn’t buy LinkedIn for networking opportunities, but for the data. Data is the “natural” resource. It would be wise for solution providers to follow these vendors’ lead.  There are many profitable benefits to offering clients third party data sources to improve their business decisions.

This is an opportunity for solution providers, specifically those who focus on data analytic and IOT solutions, to accelerate their market share and unlock the possibilities of this “new currency.”

Original article by Tech Data, edited by TDConnect editors

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