These days there’s a lot of buzz around innovation at the edge — the notion that the network edge, powered by more intelligent, more pervasive devices, is where new ideas are flourishing.

Why?

Of course, there’s emerging technologies like machine learning, analytics, and blockchain that are rapidly changing processes. But when it comes to larger scale disruption and creating new, transformational business models, it all comes down to one thing: Data.

The massive influx of data being generated at the edge — combined with the ability to take action on it — is creating businesses where they did not exist before, and disrupting existing companies to the point where previous offerings are no longer relevant to future growth.

Don’t take our word for it! Read these three true stories below on how an industry, a company, and even an individual can get in on the action in today’s increasingly data-driven world:

1. Connected Cars

There may come a time when car manufacturers don’t measure their success using metrics like distance on a single charge, battery life, or MPG (miles per gallon). How about DPG? Data Per Gallon. That’s right. Connected cars are ushering in a new era for the automotive industry where driving takes a backseat to data.

According to a recent Ars Technica article, more new cars were added to cellular networks than new phones in 2017, and 95% of them of are “connected” in some fashion. So, how are automobile makers monetizing the massive amount of data being generated and collected by today’s cars? Here’s an example: A fuel company buys data from a car manufacturer that shows what drives people to buy gas, if they prefer a certain brand or will stop anywhere, and what else to do buy when filling up — to name a few. The fuel company then uses the data to help guide branding, pricing, and the overall customer experience. BTW, the article also notes that nearly half of drivers are unaware that data about their driving habits is even being collected. Read the complete Ars Technica article here.

2. Fitbit Shifts from Devices to Data

Many of us know FitBit as one of the first ‘wearables’ to hit the market. The sleek wristbands that came in a wide variety of colors measured everything from our body pulse to how many steps we take to get to work every day. Knowing that, you may be surprised to hear that the company is not betting its future on hardware, but rather the huge amounts of personal health data it generates every second of every day. Here’s how FitBit CEO James Park described the company’s strategy to grow by becoming part of the healthcare ecosystem in a recent quarterly earnings report: “Devices enable data collection, provide a point of interaction, while software and data drives engagement and can be leveraged to provide personalized insight. Together, devices, data and software form a platform that gives users the tools to help reach our health and fitness goals, while also providing them with a more complete picture of their overall health.”

With this wealth of information on public health, FitBit is also partnering with organizations like the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. to put the data to good use with ‘digital therapeutics’ that focus on specific areas like diabetes, the heart, and sleep disorders. You can get the full story at ZDNet.

3. Selling Your Own Personal Data

Brooklyn, NY-based CoverUS is using blockchain technology to empower people to take ownership of their health data. And then helping them sell it back to insurers, healthcare providers and other companies directly, rather than forcing them to use so-called healthcare data brokerages. People can then use the proceeds to obtain cheaper healthcare services, set up health savings accounts, or even buy gym memberships. So what’s in it for co-founders Andrew Hoppin and Christopher Seale: Making healthcare more accessible and affordable — and making some money by lowering the cost of healthcare. Read more in this Fast Company article.

Are you thinking about ways to monetize data at your company?

Check out this report from KPMG, titled Framing a Winning Data Monetization Strategy. It provides some great tips and approaches for tapping into data monetization at your company.