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Your data is a differentiating asset, not a commodity

A person is sitting at desk, in front of window, working on a Surface device.What makes data so valuable?  The data that an organization collects is unique: data delivers an advantage that cannot be purchased, copied, or created by competitors. Consider it a non-fungible asset. However, data alone is meaningless without the ability to organize and harness the power of that data to derive insights, gain a competitive advantage, and ultimately transform the business.

When companies neglect to migrate, modernize, and innovate their unique data estate, thereby failing to capitalize on their data assets, they are missing out on a key opportunity to differentiate.

How data delivers competitive benefits: doing new things and moving faster

Having readily available data is the foundation that enables organizations to take full advantage of technologies like AI and IoT. Perhaps the most obvious way to pull ahead of competitors using data is through analytics and insights. By testing initiatives, identifying patterns, and responding to trends, organizations can improve customer experiences and add innovative products and services.

The ability to migrate from an old siloed estate and to modernize is the key to making your data readily accessible across your organization. By removing silos, instituting governance for data security and privacy compliance, and moving to scalable platforms, organizations gain speed and agility. Supply chain visibility is a great example of this.

Let me give you a few more examples of how data can be a competitive asset in specific industries.

Media and entertainment

  • In a new Forrester study, 56 percent of business leaders said that improving customer experience (CX) is a top priority, followed by growing revenue and increasing business agility. More than 70 percent said that not modernizing customer-facing applications could significantly inhibit their ability to meet customers’ needs.
  • Media and entertainment companies can use data to identify desirable content and accelerate its production, as well as deliver personalized recommendations and promotions to consumers.


  • According to KPMG, 85 percent of automotive executives agree that the digital ecosystem will generate higher revenues than the hardware of the car itself.
  • Data can help automotive companies accelerate their vehicle innovation and develop emerging mobility services.


  • According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, e-commerce sales are projected to reach 19.2 percent of all US retail spending by 2024—a 14.4 percent increase from 2020.
  • With a modern data estate and access to AI, retail businesses can roll out and optimize chatbots ahead of their competitors.


  • Harvard Business Review reports that 87 percent of global executives believe analytics proficiency will be a competitive differentiator in their industry over the next two years.
  • Leading telecoms will deploy and optimize next-generation networks and accelerate innovation and growth based on their analytics capabilities.

Why companies should choose Microsoft Azure for their data estate

Too many organizations are sitting on a wellspring of data but not getting value from it because of the complexity. Today, data comes in nearly endless varieties: structured, unstructured, from multiple sources, in multiple languages, and stored in data warehouses and data lakes. And just as varied as those sources are customer needs for that data.

Microsoft simplifies the complexity of the data landscape to help organizations like yours differentiate in the market, achieve business outcomes, and do that in a secure way. For example, you can increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty with personalized brand experiences. You can improve market position and efficiency by accelerating innovation. You can collect customer feedback while maintaining privacy compliance to increase service agility and reliability.

When you choose Microsoft Azure, the differentiator is data integration. By pulling together common data services and data models, Azure delivers everything you need through one platform:

  • Data modernization in the cloud.
  • Cloud-native applications with ultra-low latency.
  • Analytics and insights in the shortest amount of time.
  • Data science with responsible, powerful AI on your terms.
  • Governance through AI-powered discovery, cataloging, and protection.

Explore how Azure allows you to tap into limitless possibilities for your data.