Seven ways to create new business from big data
Ari Alamäki, Haaga-Helia, 31.8.2017

Creating customer value is one of the most essential issues in the business life. The consumers and business customers become users or make purchase decisions based on their personal evaluation concerning perceived value.

In our Tekes-project, an important research question is “how to create new business from big data”. Maybe the most well-known examples are giants Facebook and Google whose business is much about selling of data. Thus, more exact question could “how the normal firms” could benefit from data analytics if they are not in the consumer business? Consequently, we are also researching the big data possibilities of B2B sector in the Big Data Big Business-research project.

It is hard to find objective writings that shows real examples or hints how companies can create new business from big data, and how they have benefited from it. Most writings are about traditional business intelligence or customer research, and their original target is to produce management reporting without any “Vs” (volume, variety, velocity and veracity).

There are however some good articles concerning data-based business models. An excellent writing is Thomas Redman’s article in the Harvard Business Review, where he presented four ways to do data-based business. We combined Redman’s thoughts to our research finds and practical experiences, and we found seven ways to do new business by utilizing data:

1) Build technological enablers
2) Sell data-sets
3) Create analyses
4) Share value back to the customers
5) Productize data-based services
6) Enhance user experience
7) Sell value-added services

All models do not naturally fit to all firms. First, you have to understand your position and possibilities in the value chain, and secondly, you cannot suddenly become as a competitor for your current loyal partners or even customers. You may however have a business opportunity which anybody in your company has not yet recognized.

For example, Aller Media in Finland has taken brave steps in this sector by productizing Rikastamo-data-service. Its name is even smart, as it means “enricher” – a service where you can enrich your own data or analyze. HeadAI is creating artificial intelligence & big data technologies, Roger Studio is consulting companies to utilize more effectively customer data, KONE has launched a public service ( where you can listen how elevators are talking in their cloud center, Neste and Kesko share value back to the customers though loyalty program services, and Kemppi has built data-based quality services for their customers of industrial companies.

Traditionally retail, insurance and media sectors have been leaders in the data-based analytics as they have large volumes in both numbers of customers and transactions. Internet of Things-solutions are creating new big data potential, and digitalization of services is producing new data sources for private and public sectors.


Alamäki, A. (2017) Big datasta uutta liiketoimintaa. Presentation at Tulevaisuus-foorumi, Haaga-Helia 15.3.2017.

Alamäki, A. (2017) Näin big datasta voi luoda uutta liiketoimintaa.TIVI-lehti, Vieras kynä-palsta 11.4.2017