I was glad to be selected as one of the 40 Women in Tech to participate in Enterconf in Belfast this June. One of the most interesting presentations was “The Economic Value of Data” by Steve Todd, VP of strategy and innovation, at EMC.
According to CapGemini EMC Big Data report, 63% of the respondents considered that the monetization of the data could eventually become as valuable to their organisations as their existing products and services. This is not so far off the truth – data may indeed become the most valuable asset your company has.
Let’s take Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, for example. The most valuable asset in the bankruptcy evaluation was not Caesars Entertainment group’s physical resort or the land they owned. It was the data. Their customer loyalty program with 45 million members has been valued at 1 billion dollars by creditors.
Every business is now a digital business
With the emerging disruptive and connected technologies, every business is now a digital business. It does not matter whether you are a car company, mobile manufacturer or supermarket chain – everything is becoming connected and each business has some unique data that another company can combine with their own and cash on.
You can build a highly detailed database with users’ contact details, age and gender as well as their buying behaviour and patterns, interests and habits. Collection and analysis of this data is not beneficial merely because you can exploit it in your company. It can become a saleable service on its own right, as some of the below companies have noticed.
Put data in the heart of your business
Data value has to become part of your company and IT strategy and it needs to be in the heart of any plans and decisions you make. Make sure to create valuation policies, align your IT resources and data value, ensure employees from top to bottom understand the value of data collection, and provide tools and services to make the change happen.
Naturally, once you have your highly valuable database, privacy and security become a real issue. It’s essential to protect and insure it, especially if your data is evaluated to be the most valuable asset you have.
Embrace the change
The world is changing and as Uber, AirBnB and Facebook have demonstrated, physical assets are becoming less and less essential in business. If you stick to the old ways and fight against the revolution, lobbying and laws can protect your business only for so long.
You may not want to embrace the change, but can you afford not to?