I was following a twitter stream from the Future of Digital Marketing conference using #fodm at which Gerd Leonhard talked about Data as being 'the new oil'.
This analogy struck a chord with me as many of my clients who generate significant digital revenue view their data and databases as their prize assets. Continuing Gerd's analogy with some thoughts of my own:
Most data starts life as a crude mass but similarly to oil, Data can be refined and distilled to create a multitude of products and resources. Oil can be used in this way because of its diverse hydrocarbon structure and it is no different to data. Having a database structure that is robust, diverse and flexible enough to be used for various purposes is a must.
Refined and reliable data normally means there are more opportunities to exploit the data, leverage existing revenue streams, enter into collaborative arrangements and means that the data and databases are more coveted and thus more valuable.
However, similar to oil there are safety concerns and avoiding leaks will be key.
Ownership - who owns the data and the database rights from which digital revenue is derived? Who has a right to extract the data and who has a right to refine it? Buying any new data reserve requires careful surveys!
Leakages - does the data contain personal data? what happens if there is a data spill? who pays for the clear up? do you have consent to use the data in the way you intend? would you lose your competitive advantage if your competitors had the same data?
Back up - back up and business continuity plans for data access and data provision are critical. Particularly if you rely on third parties to extract or refine the data for you.
There is the start of a "data rush" at the moment with a great deal of data mining and prospecting. Three of the greatest data reserves have been discovered Twitter, Facebook and Google, but I believe only a small percentage of the value of these reserves has been exploited. I expect with the move to the Internet of things that the tap to these reserves and others will be fully open.
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