A large number of organisations around the world are not doing enough to monetise the increasing amounts of customer data they collect, as they do not recognise this as a business asset or appreciate its true value.

This is according to Gartner, which said that while some companies are turning to big data analytics to help them make the most of their customer information, many more lack the right business models to effectively turn this into real-world results.

Vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner Douglas Laney observed having a strategy for this will become ever-more important in the coming years, as the digital business trend has a major impact on customer data.

He stated: "The growing wealth of information – from social media, location and context-sensitive data collected from mobile devices and the Internet of Things – is increasing the volume, velocity and variety of that information, radically expanding the scope of the 360-degree customer profile." 

Gartner recommended that when it comes to monetising their customer data, organisations should look to industry examples and cases already in use for inspiration. For example, banks and credit card companies provide payment information value-added services (PIVAS) to retailers and merchant partners. These enterprises can use PIVAS to understand their customers better and to help them build stronger relationships with retailer and merchant communities.

However, companies have also been warned to be mindful of the risks that come with the collection and use of customer data – most notably complex privacy regulations and worries from the public about how their information is being treated.

In order to be successful, businesses will have to evaluate the expected risks, particularly considering who will have ownership of the data and how it will be shared.

"Companies have to determine their risk tolerance in relation to how they want to monetise their customer data," Gartner said. For example, whether they want to design information products using anonymised or aggregated personal data will have an impact on the solutions they pursue.