5 Lessons on Using Big Data & Analytics to Enhance Open Innovation

Curious about how big data & analytics speed up your open innovation process? Here are 5 lessons on making the most of your corporate innovation strategy!

Google a random industry and you will find more data points than actual insights. Because companies globally now have access to humongous amounts of open source, external, and internal data, most companies fail to gain much out of it. On the other hand, successful companies utilize Big Data & Analytics tools to improve their innovation processes, make better products, and identify new business opportunities. Often, the link between big data and these outcomes is open innovation.

But how does a company with limited resources analyze large amounts of structured and unstructured data from thousands of sources? For the past years, we have extensively grown our expertise in open innovation and startup scouting by working on more than 1 500 innovation projects internationally. What we’ve learned is that manual innovation processes take up more time than most of us have available. That’s why we were looking for a better solution. Our answer is to enhance innovation processes with technology. Big data and analytics tools convert data into actionable innovation intelligence, answering questions such as which emerging technologies to pursue or what startups to partner with. This acts as a catalyst for your innovation process.

Let’s take a look at what Big Data & Analytics can do to improve your Open Innovation Strategy:

5 Lessons on Big Data-Powered Open Innovation

Based on trends in innovation management as well as our experience, we offer you 5 recommendations to take your data-driven open innovation to the next level. As you will notice, they are interconnected and will have the most impact when implemented together.

1. Leverage Digitization for Innovation

Today, it would be near impossible to find an industry, however small, that’s untouched by digitization. It makes companies more agile, improves productivity, and increases profits, among a range of other benefits. Perhaps more importantly, it enables the collection of large amounts of data, for example on consumers’ behavior and preferences as well as internal processes. Due to the magnitude and the universality of this phenomenon, some commentators now suggest that every company is a data company.

When channeled into innovation management, this data allows companies to identify new opportunities and business models. Not only does this further escalate the benefits of digitization, but it also expands the scope of what aspects of a business can be digitized. Digitization and open innovation have a symbiotic relationship that companies must leverage.

2. Include Customer Feedback in Your Innovation Process

One of the benefits of digitization highlighted above is the insights on customers. Companies now know what motivates their customers to make a purchase and what features they care about the most. This is one of the most crucial pieces of internal data that a company has for open innovation.

The relationship between a customer and a company is changing rapidly. For instance, a shift in consumer attitudes is forcing companies across industries to improve their sustainability. Successful companies use consumer feedback to improve or develop products. Such companies are quick to analyze if it’s more worthwhile to innovate internally or look externally to best serve their customers.

3. Integrate Technology-Driven and Market-Driven Approaches

Big data and analytics bridge the gap between the physical and the digital worlds. In open innovation, it is also blurring the boundary between technology-driven and market-driven approaches to innovation. The changing nature of the customer-consumer relationship is a major reason behind this. Important to note here that this is true for not just B2B companies, but B2C companies as well.

Traditionally, technology-driven innovation used to be a result of the technology-push, whereas market-driven innovation followed demand-pull. Big data and analytics allow companies to combine technology-driven and market-driven innovation. This improves the efficiency of open innovation strategies by enabling synergy between customer feedback and technology development.

4. Don’t Miss Out on External Innovation

Often, companies know exactly what they need when looking for startups to partner with or emerging technologies to invest in. However, when planning for the long term, it is often uncertain to pinpoint what a company needs or what it should invest in. This is why decision-makers are incorporating strategies like data-driven technology scouting in their open innovation strategies. Through this, they get routine insights on startups and technology trends that matter to them.

This relationship between companies and potential partners is becoming increasingly important because external innovation often has a surprisingly big impact on your operations or product portfolio. If you’re alert, you stand to benefit from co-innovation in the form of profitable collaborations or acquisitions.

5. Implement Data Governance Practices

Simply generating and/or collecting large amounts of data isn’t enough for open innovation. The real value lies in how effectively this data is shared internally and externally. As much as companies learn from external data, opening up internal data to outside parties creates opportunities for innovation. Sharing data with external collaborators, however, comes with privacy risks. Therefore, companies need to strike a delicate balance between sharing data to enhance innovation and protecting it against risks.

Data governance enables companies to simultaneously improve data security and decision-making. Companies with strong data governance cultures will be better positioned to benefit from the open sharing of their data.

What can Data-Driven Open Innovation do for You?

With millions of startups globally, and many more being founded each year, it is difficult to conduct a comprehensive search of the innovation space. Manual methods are time-consuming and expensive as well as often do not find stealth-mode or startups operating under-the-radar. Using a data-driven open innovation scouting approach quickly gives you an exhaustive overview of innovations in your area of interest.

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Open innovation makes it easy to find the right startups that best fit your innovation goals. Pick startups in particular sizes or locations, among many other parameters you can choose from, that you’re interested in.

 

Depending on your innovation goals, we at StartUs Insights offer a range of services enabled by our Big Data and AI-powered Discovery Platform. Some of our services that help companies like Samsung, Iberdrola, and Nestlé in their data-driven open innovation goals include:

  • Startup Programs: Boost startup deal flow through data-driven promotion, direct outreach & storytelling that reaches hundreds of thousands of startups & scaleups, making sure you attract the most relevant ones
  • Trend Scouting: Identity emerging and latent trends and developments that will impact your competitiveness
  • Technology Scouting: Reveal emerging technologies that match your innovation goals
  • Startup Scouting: Discover over 2 million startups & scaleups globally and scout the right partners for your projects

To discover how we use big data and analytics to speed up your open innovation process, get in touch today!

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