Towards Data Value Management

Do you think of data as an asset? Do you account for it as such?


4 August 2017

Do you think of your customer base as an asset?

In 2005, we asked the leading mobile company to list their biggest assets. We challenged the answer and encouraged them to think about their customer base as an asset. Considering how much money they spent acquiring, retaining, and growing their customers easily puts the existing customers in the top-5 assets by value, which is true for most organizations.

‘So,’ we asked, ‘who is responsible for the customer base: who owns the P&L accountability? Can you name his or her name?’ More interestingly: what would it take for someone to truly own the P&L of the customer base? What metrics need to be in place, what organization, what kind of people with which skills and following which processes? What technology and infrastructure supports them?

From this we built the concept of Customer Value Management (CVM) and implemented it first at European telcos and then took it to other industries and geographies. Now, every telco has some form of CVM and it is common in many other enterprises, especially those with repeat purchases or subscriptions.

Do you think of Data as an asset?

Where would it be on your list of assets (a) in terms of value it generates right now and (b) considering its strategic or potential value?

What is the name of the single person within your organization who owns the P&L for Data? What is your Return on Data? What metrics do you have in place to measure the return on this asset? What organization, what people, what processes?

We are arguing for a new function in the enterprise. Let’s call it Data Value Management for now (better suggestions in the comments, please). What would it take for someone to be truly accountable for the commercial return on Data in your company? This cuts across your organization as it stands: it is operational, as in CVM which is of course a data function; it is relational in optimizing the customer experience and advocacy; and it is strategic in driving growth and innovation, creating new products and opening new markets.

We have some answers but I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Make money from data. It’s what we do.