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More data, fewer problems: how to unlock a new revenue stream for your business using existing data

by Fiona McLaren6 November 2023 5 Min Read

Most big companies are sitting on untapped data.

Lots of the businesses we’ve chatted to in the last 6 months have all been curious about how they can put their existing data to good use. 

Take Ennismore and e.l.f as an example: instead of wondering what to do with their data, these businesses are asking what their data can do for them.

Forward-thinking organisations are using existing data to uncover new revenue opportunities and reduce the risks of experimentation. Just look at the leading legal firm we recently helped tap into a potential £675-million market.

So how can you spot new and achievable innovation opportunities for your business? Take a product approach and create a prototype using data you already have and then evaluate it based on desirability, feasibility, and viability. Here's how it's done.

Desirability: is your product idea a must-have?

More often than not, the first step to launching a product built to succeed is testing desirability. Desirability looks at whether your solution is a nice-to-have or a must-have for your user. 

Testing desirability is much more effective if you have a way of getting real, contextual data into the prototype. This is great because if you’re a data-rich business, real data is exactly what you already have. 

Building a prototype as true to what you can deliver in the real world helps you observe actual behaviour rather than receiving hypothetical feedback. Which in turn allows you to confirm user desirability with greater confidence.

When working with a leading legal firm, we used their existing data to build out three potential propositions that we immediately tested with their existing users. 

Not only did this help us build something people wanted from the get-go, but it also helped us zero in on the data that the firm needed to use and the data they could ignore. Not having to make sense of *everything* all at once, was an easy way to save time and money.

Feasibility: is your new proposition technically possible?

When you’re building a prototype from existing data, desirability goes hand-in-hand with feasibility. Of course, you need to know if users want your new proposition. But to test this, you need to know if your business has the technical feasibility to build the product. Or at the very least a prototype. 

Assessing feasibility early on will help save you both time and money. For a business using existing data, this will help you leverage the data you already have, and minimise any new data needed.

When launching their new travel and food membership, Ennismore needed to assess the feasibility of bringing together 10 globally renowned brands in one platform. We built Ennismore a proof of concept to minimise the technical risk, allowing them to launch their new proposition with confidence. 

Working through desirability and then feasibility meant we weren’t just blue sky thinking, together we made sense of it by building prototypes using real data

CPO at leading legal firm

Viability: is there potential for your new revenue stream to grow?

When unlocking a new revenue stream, the most important question can seem like ‘will this make money?’. Often this question alone can halt innovation in its tracks. Especially if the answer is not an immediate (or confident) yes. 

But answering the ‘will this make money?’ question can take time. That’s if you want any evidence to base your answer off. 

Luckily, if you have real data, and a prototype based on this data, testing viability can be much quicker and much more reliable. 

With a prototype that lets potential buyers see the real-world use, you can offer a pilot for free, gather feedback, get people using your product day-to-day, and then find out who will go on to become a paying customer.

Innovation happens when you start small

Launching a new revenue stream can be costly, risky and time-consuming. It’s why a lot of businesses end up deprioritising innovation. 

But, if you're lucky enough to have your own data - why not use it rather than be overwhelmed by it? 

Start small, and turn the data into a useful prototype. Make it as real as possible, rather than imagining the impossible and never progressing. 

At the very least, you’ll clarify if your idea is worth it or not. And at the very most? You’ll test and validate everything your idea needs for the greatest chance of success. 

At Planes, we know how challenging it can be to experiment with, test and prioritise new ideas. So we've designed a proof of concept service to help you validate or kill one of your innovation ideas in just 2 weeks.

Got an idea you want to put to the test? Reach out to Malachy for a chat:

Lover of creating new propositions, listening to customers' real motivations and believer in happy teams making the best things. Accidental finance and travel product expert. Volunteer search dog handler.
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