How Businesses can Monetize Data, by Helen Tanner of Data Cubed.

What is Data Cubed?

We're a data lab - we do cool things with data and help businesses to make money out of data. By data, we mean information on customers, blockchain transactions, financial performance, online activity and much, much more. We work with corporates, like AXA and Barclays, as well as start-ups and scale-ups, creating dashboards, interactive online tools and super cool data visualisations.

How did you get into blockchain? One of our clients is a European fintech blockchain start-up called Own - we helped them to develop their solution, raise funds and create their data-driven user interface. Now we're working with other exciting blockchain businesses and fully immersed in the blockchain development world across a range of sectors.

What were you doing / working in before Data Cubed? I worked for big global financial services organisations in senior marketing, data and product-orientated roles. I founded Data3 as I could see a real need to help businesses, of all shapes and sizes, to exploit their data and transform it into revenue-generating tools. Many businesses just don't have the time and resources in-house to do it themselves - so that's where we come in.

What other projects are you working on? We're working with a global insurer, an adtech business, a taxi business, a property business and many more - with all of our clients, we're doing cool things with data and driving revenue and customer growth.

What are you most excited by in the space? The introduction of blockchain to new and more complex business sectors - currently, blockchain projects, and particularly ICOs, have focused on simple 1-1 transactional business models where there's a seller and a buyer and they transact on blockchain removing the intermediaries. But blockchain has the potential to completely change the way business work and to create brand new business ecosystems. So I'm excited to see the way the technology evolves and changes the way we work in traditional areas, such as insurance.

How has your background in marketing helped you? I've been brought up to satisfy customer needs profitably, which is the definition of marketing. That means I'm customer-centric and commercially-minded. In a world of a myriad of blockchain use cases and disruptive ideas for global domination, this helps me to not get distracted by all the hype...

What changes can you see happening in data? Phenomenal change. The volume of data is growing exponentially. So data processing will become more automated, with smarter analysis and simplified visualisations. Technology will lead the way. But it will take business knowledge and customer-focus to derive the true insight and value from the data.

Is there any advice or predictions you’d give about the future of data? Don't start with the data. Walk away from the data. Start with the customer and the business. You can drown in data, do complex analytics and create beautiful visualisations...but what's the point unless it creates business or customer value?

You’ve worked with a number of ICOs. What do you think will happen with the future of ICOs? Today, we're seeing more hybrid ICOs where there is a phase 1 of private investment followed by a public sale - this will raise the barriers to entry and reduce the number of scams. Plus we're seeing a move to STOs, and equity offerings, instead of utility token sales, which is better for investors. Both of these trends are positive for the market and I'm confident there's a future market for STOs in 2019 and beyond. 

What do you think about the current STO trend? See above! 

Do you see blockchain and crypto becoming mainstream and if so, how? They are two different things. I see blockchain, as a technology, being massively valuable whenever there is a solid use case - but there are many projects out there that don't need blockchain and a database would work perfectly fine. Cryptocurrency is another thing - I think we'll see the launch of government-backed cryptocurrencies, I think many cryptocurrencies out there right now will fail, I think bitcoin will rise in value again...but what do I know?!

Helen Tanner, founder of Data Cubed can be contacted at helen@data-cubed.co.uk

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Erica Stanford