With the digitization of society, most of the businesses are going online. What brings value to your business and turns it into a successful online company?
Having great data scientists isn’t enough to create a prosperous Internet business. The big time stories of the leading online companies prove: the key to success is having a unique data asset.
Data asset: what are the biggest challenges?
With the growth of technologies, we are now able to collect much more data. Instead of paper-stored loads of information, we have now powerful machines, such as smartphones and computers that generate even more data.
However, turns out that collecting an exclusive data asset is not a piece of cake. Most of the online startups are facing a lot of challenges while collecting the data. One of the most significant problems is that the data is scattered all over SaaS systems, email service providers, marketing platforms etc.
What’s more, with most of the SaaS tools it is impossible to get the data that belongs to your business. The other urgent problem is the cost of exclusive data asset: running an own data warehouse is quite expensive for many companies. Many of them are struggling to pull all the business data into one place, not locked in, but accessible at any time.
Data before revenue
The primary reason why large companies are launching products is not revenue, but data. How is it making businesses grow and get even more customers?
The virtuous circle for online companies looks like this: Product → Users → Data → Product. In a nutshell, if you have some initial asset of data, it allows you to launch a product, and, as a result, acquire some users. They will help you constantly increase the amount of data you possess, and, step by step, improve your product and bring even more customers. In such a way, a company is building a positive feedback loop that allows to accumulate even more data, and build a defensible business.
The leading online companies have two important features:
- Strategic data acquisition. One of the significant steps for every Internet company is to find out if the company is able to generate and acquire enough of data to create a defensible business. This process is quite complicated and turns into a multi-year chess game. Since data is the fuel for AI and Online companies, strategic data acquisition is the task #1 for them. Acquiring data is a complex process of collecting info through user clicks, ratings and search queries. In the end of a day, many startups fail to source the initial data assets to their business problems.
- Unified data warehouses. The other important feature is building unified data warehouses, which means making the data accessible across the organization. It makes the data flow from application to application, across superficial silos. The required data becomes available for engineers, who eventually can create value out of it. If you have a dedicated data warehouse, you can get rich analytics with no effect on the application performance. However, building the unified data warehouses is quite challenging task for many startups, mainly because of its high cost.
One should not underestimate the importance of data for online companies. This unique data asset is something that actually makes your business more and more valuable.
The state of AI: data as a biggest asset for artificial intelligence
Big data is powerful on its own. The same we can say about Artificial Intelligence.
When these two are merged, it creates a powerful tool for shaping the future of every single industry. How can online businesses come closer to become not just Internet, but also AI based companies? The new trends in artificial intelligence, such as neural networks, clearly show: data is the biggest asset for successful AI companies.
While traditional learning AI algorithms could not benefit from big data, because simply did not know what do with it, the neural networks are working the opposite way: the bigger amount of data is given for a task, the better its performance.
One of the magic things about neural network is when you have enough data, NN can calculate a lot of things by itself. It means if you want the best level of performance, you have to do two things:
- Collect a lot of data;
- Train a very large neural network
In a nutshell, the bigger the network, the more data you can pour in to enhance the performance.
The rise of this new trend in AI over the last 3-4 years posed an important question: what is really the most valuable thing for a business? The answer is obvious – an exclusive data asset.
Integrate AI into your business
Artificial Intelligence is no longer a fancy of science fiction writers. This latest approach is making revolution in digital world, changing all the company processes into more cost-effective, efficient and reliable.
So how can you incorporate AI into your business and make it not only an Internet but also an AI company? The first and foremost thing to build a defensible AI business is to have a unique data asset.
StackTome can help you manage your own data stack by pulling all the business data into one place. You are not locked in, as we give you an option to export all the data at any time. StackTome helps you with strategic data acquisition and unified data warehouses. We understand that one size fits all approach does not work anymore, that’s why StackTome is building unique data strategy to put all the exclusive data into appropriate business context, to create value for your business.
If you want to see your online company in all its glory, you need to turn the development of your business into data-driven affair. StackTome plays an important role in this affair, and helps you move closer to being not just an Internet but also an AI company.
The post was inspired by the following talk by Andrew Ng: