Data Is The New Oil – Here’s Why
At no point in time is it possible to predict with absolute accuracy the exact nature and shape of any future event or ‘new normal’. And yet, current circumstances have necessitated given a thing of such volatility a hard and good go. Also, if any one future ‘thing’ appears to be a done deal on the business prediction front, then its that data, and not oil, is humanity’s new black gold.
In the face of a global health crisis, data, and not oil, is directly connected to humanity’s capacity to effectively defeat an unseen enemy. And if at any single point in humanity’s volatile and evolutionary history the ancient truth of sound health being more valuable than all the world’s riches (read: money), rings truer than ever before, then that point is the right here and the right now.
Why Raw Isn’t Good Enough
It must be pointed out too that data in raw form, not unlike oil, is of no value whatsoever. The real value is to be found in gathering, in combination with supplementary or explanatory data, and in correct and efficient application. Again – not unlike oil. Oil, when refined, becomes a useable commodity and a key ingredient in everything from combustible fuel to plastic. By the exact same token, data, when properly refined, becomes a decision-making tool like no other. Just like a hand in online Blackjack, it’s the combination of cards that makes for a winner, not the cards on their own.
Ultimately, it all comes down the simple economics of the matter. And not unlike the US/Russian race for space, its of utmost importance to ‘get there first’. Having access to reliable information, i.e. data, before everybody else, whether in business or in health, is where real value is to be found.
Data: It’s In Demand
To say that data is more in demand now than ever before is the understatement of the century. Organisations are suddenly faced with having to make some really difficult survive-or-die decisions. This is part of a new normal brought about by a set of rapidly changing circumstances that continues to adapt at a dizzying speed. There simply is no time to sit around and mull things over until they make sense, or to hang back until a solution happens to present itself.
Data not only needs to be accurate – it needs to be accurate within the context of the immediately ‘now’. Governed by this logic, more data doesn’t necessarily mean more valuable data. Real-time accuracy is where the big business is at.
Commodity Vs By-Product
Big businesses hoping to remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape can no longer afford to look at data from a perspective of it being a by-product of doing sound business. Instead, data must be treated as if it were a resource to be mined via processes of strategic gathering and capturing – a commodity that absolutely justifies every penny spent on creating efficient value. Money spent on transforming raw data into meaningful, accurate and measurable information, will forever be money considered well spent.
Its now a case of adapt or die. And data should be everyone’s business.