Every business is a data business. Some firms already have significant capabilities around their data, and some are just beginning to leverage their information. Creating the right Data Partnership Strategy is key to unlocking the value of your data assets by merging, sharing, and properly protecting your data with others where additional value can be created. The DataSmart team has designed, negotiated, and implemented hundreds of data partnerships around the world and can help you realize your true data value.

Data Partnerships

Data partnerships and the strategies employed in their use have become one of the most defining characteristics of successful companies today. Facebook, Uber, Snapchat, AirBnB, Amazon and thousands of others have leveraged data partnerships and data sharing agreements to create enormous value and opportunity in the market.

Having an overall approach to your data partnerships and a cohesive strategy is not something that comes naturally to most organizations. For many, data assets are something of an afterthought to normal business operations, which inevitably leads to them being underutilized, or worse, trapped in a corporate structure that leaves little flexibility to leverage them. For this reason, each company needs to take a proactive approach to their data partnership strategy.

The DataSmart Method: Identify, Value, Structure, Protect

When you look at companies that are thriving today, their ability to identify their data assets has been one of their hallmarks. This is often harder and more complex than many companies expect because they have preconceived notions about their data as well as fiefdoms that silo off their data assets from each other. This book is designed to help walk through specific types of data assets, how to identify them, and some exercises that should help uncover more opportunities than initially visible.

Once data assets have been identified, the process of valuing a company’s data assets begins and is both complex and situationally subjective. It is critical to do this properly depending on the use case that is ideal for your company. For example, many companies value their customer database above all else, which is an interesting perspective when you realize that almost every detail about a customer can be purchased or accessed from a third party vendor for increasingly small amounts of money. What really is the value of data about your own customers? That’s one of the questions we will outline because in many cases the value is unlocked not through the identification of a data asset, but in the combination of that data set with additional, and often external, sources of information.

With data now defined and preliminarily valued, each business must create data partnership structures that will allow them to confidently utilize these assets in a number of strategies. Whether seeking to buy, sell, share, or resell data assets, there are some core elements of timing and legal approaches to consider. Data often contains some significant government, industry, regulatory and even consumer perception risks in its use or misuse, and every company must understand each of these in terms of partnerships. Equally important, the timing of when to utilize certain partnership structures is highly dependent on key situational constraints and we will outline where and when to apply these different tactics.

With the data partnerships underway, the last critical step is to set up a reporting or feedback system to help protect not just the data assets, but the value that continued access to those assets provides. Data is dangerously transferable, readily stolen or copied, and easily manipulated to disappear. We will talk about some of the more painful examples of this, and I don’t mean external hackers attacking from the outside, but the painful realization that a partnership you purposefully and excitedly signed somehow opened a backdoor for your data assets to walk out, never to be seen again. Focusing before and during a partnership negotiation on reporting requirements will help uncover these risks before they ever go into effect.

Our approach, as outlined above, will be to identify your data assets, value them, select the right data partnership strategy, and build a reporting framework to protect those assets.

This book serves as both a guide through data partnerships but also as an ongoing reference as some of the approaches contained are appropriate at different times and for varying circumstances. You will be able to answer the following critical questions, and we will tackle them in the following order:

  • What data assets do you have?
  • What it is the value of data and having a strategy for partnership?
  • How do you convey the value of your data?
  • What do typical data partnerships have in common?
  • Define the most commons data partnerships types
  • Innovator Partnerships
  • Mutually Beneficial Partnerships
  • Reseller Partnerships
  • What reporting and insights do I need for every data partnership?

DataSmart Consulting covers each of these questions and topics in depth while also outlining strategies and approaches to employ at different times in the life cycle of your business.