“Everything [in finance] really springs from data,” says Roger Ehrenberg, a former hedge fund manager at Deutsche Bank who now makes investments in so-called big data companies.

Core disciplines like risk management, credit assessment and consumer marketing are all being influenced by this rise of data-intensive applications. But the next frontier stands to be more disruptive, as big data usher in a new level of product differentiation.

Dynamic pricing – or using real time data to price services on the fly – points to one of the areas of greatest potential, according to many investors and entrepreneurs.

For instance, Wealthfront, an online investment manager, says it adjusts its clients’ holdings frequently to recognize losses that bring tax benefits.

Progressive is also looking at ways of applying real-time data to create better services where drivers would be charged based on how often they use their vehicles.