Let's Talk About Data: Different Data to Drive Value


Part 1: Different Data to Drive Value

Click here for Part 2 and Part 3.


Steve Hall

Well, welcome guys. The first question I really want to talk about today is: what are the different types of data that organizations use, and how is that driving their new value proposition?

Kathy Rudy

I think a company deals with a lot of different types of data depending on the industry:

  • So, if you're in a consumer-based industry, you're looking at your customer data, what their buying patterns are, what their trends are.
  • If it's health care, you're looking at the types of diagnoses that they may have, the medications that they're on, what sort of metabolic or diagnostics that they have.
  • Most companies also deal with their own financial and internal data.

It's industry-specific right now. There's a big focus on consumer data and how you leverage that consumer data, as well as internal data that you're using to drive your business and financials. Sunder, what do you think?

Sunder Sarangan

That's great. I'll contextualize it in the for the technology services industry:

  1. There's the customer data, which is everything from service mix and pricing to contracting, then,
  2. There's operational data, which could be utilization, skill sets, attrition, which is a big topic right now.

Underlying all that is really the business that all these services companies are providing this value to.

Kathy Rudy

If you think about it through the service provider lens, you’re right. They're really looking at ways to manage their business, but also drive more business. I know when service providers come to the types of data, they're looking for us to give them information on are not just, you know:

  • What deals are in the market?
  • What size deals are coming up for renewal?

But also:

  • How are other service providers bundling their services together?
  • How are they pricing them?
  • What are the levers that they're using for changing up services?

Mix what are the specific SLAs and then you get into not just quantitative data, but qualitative data: what types of clauses are being taken out of contracts? So right now, they're asking about COLA, they're asking about termination of services. There's a lot of mix going on with the service provider community and types of data that they're looking for to make sure that they understand the market and are driving in the right direction. Steve, I know you have thoughts on that.

Steve Hall

Yeah. I mean I think you guys are both bringing up great points. To steal the phrase, I think data is the new oil. Right? When we look at every organization, the integration of analytics, the integration of so many sensors, the integration of the customer experience. The fact that we’re tracked on our mobile devices now were tracked on our web, cookies, everything. We've got data everywhere.

So, organizations have to figure out:

  • What's your core asset?
  • And how do they think about monetizing that data to drive a different value stream?

If I think about ISG, we want to monetize price, data cost data service level agreements, contract durations, the things that we talked about on the ISG Index. You know, if I'm a service provider, I want to help organizations develop structures: data analytics, teams, organizations to help enterprises do it.

And as you started out, every company is going to have a different set of data, and I would say likely even every vertical or sub-vertical or micro-vertical, whatever we want to call it, is going to have different assets. The trick is to step back and say:

  • How do we use it to make real insights and real decisions?
  • And then, what do we monetize from this?

Kathy Rudy

I think data is also driving new partnerships in ways we've never seen before. You'll see competitors coming together to bring their data into a single dataset so that they have more insight. So, we were working with a medical community, and one organization had developed a way to look at cancer biopsies.

They had a set of information, but, really, to get AI and intelligence around it, they needed more. So, they opened it up to what would be considered maybe not their normal partners to build those data sets so they could drive better results for the communities that they served. I think that happens a lot now. There are different partnerships because you can bring in data together and just have more and deeper insights than what you might have had on your own.

Sunder Sarangan

I think both of you bring up an interesting point, which is:

  1. There's data that you get from your business, and
  2. There's external data.

The external data brings a lot of context when you put the two together. So, as you're thinking about your data strategy, it's natural to start with your own data. But thinking about the outside data that's available and accessible and can add more color detail to your internal data is an important aspect to keep in mind.

Kathy Rudy

That's a great point. The external data that you can just access through an API or a micro service or some type of subscription is really becoming, I think, more important to enhancing your data that you have. All these data partnerships are either through subscription services or creating partnerships with people that you might not have in the past.

Steve Hall

We'll even look at our own business. So, if you look at our ISG Executive Insights™, right, it's an API-driven capability that really says, “we know an awful lot about your contracts, your capabilities, what you can do.” But we also buy data from other firms that enhance that. We do third party risk management, we do financial assessments, we do ESG capabilities, we’re buying data from Dun and Bradstreet to integrate it in.

So, there's so many things that we can do that's just so much value add for the end client, because it enhances that overall experience with the data components that we build. I think that's a brilliant question and something organizations will look forward to.


About the authors

Kathy Rudy

Kathy Rudy

Kathy Rudy is Chief Data and Analytics Officer of ISG and a member of the ISG Executive Board. She was named to this post in January 2020. Kathy is responsible for the development of ISG data solutions and platforms to deliver new and even more valuable insights to our clients, as part of the overall ISG Platform strategy. She is working across the firm to enhance our data products, develop data-driven consulting assets, and increase our go-to-market effectiveness. Throughout her 20 years with the firm, Kathy has supported hundreds of client organizations as they leverage data to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness in their IT operations, build measurement programs and support critical sourcing decisions. She was responsible for the development of ISG Inform™, the firm’s next-generation data-as-a-service platform solution, launched in 2019. Before joining ISG in 2000, Kathy, a graduate of Michigan State University, was part of the Unisys team that managed the transition from internally delivered IT services to an outsourced environment for the City of Chicago.

Sunder Sarangan

Sunder Sarangan

Sunder Sarangan is focused on the success of the provider ecosystem at ISG. He leads various programs and products as part of the leadership team for ISG Research. Additionally, he is responsible for new products that address the specific needs of niche and specialized providers and their market success.
Steve Hall

Steve Hall

What he does at ISG

As the leader of ISG’s business in EMEA and an Executive Board Member, Steve provides strategic insight and advice to help ISG’s clients solve their most critical business challenges, helping them adopt and optimize the technology and operating models they need to compete successfully. In particular, he uses his long experience and broad expertise to challenge and inspire them to think about their risks and opportunities in new and unexpected ways.

Past achievements for clients

Steve leads his team’s engagement with clients with an industry-recognized and highly valued perspective on the most important trends in business and technology. He asks and answers the big questions: Why do you need to transform? What’s your best way forward? What do you need to accelerate? And where should you invest your technology dollars to make it all happen?

Among his many client success stories, his ability to take in the big picture, define the problem and connect the dots to the right solutions helped one legacy postal and shipping giant transform itself into a modern logistics powerhouse. He also guided a global energy industry leader through a complex operating model and IT provider transition, helping them see past the obvious cost cutting measures to identify the root causes of their challenges—and delivering savings far beyond what they had imagined.