Data as an “Asset”

Data as an “Asset”

It has become almost embarrassing to say that data is just a business asset and should be treated as one.

Asha Saxena, the author of What is Data Value and Should it be Viewed as a Corporate Asset? shares an interesting observation by Steve Toff of Dell EMC. While surveying to gauge the value of data, many highly profitable companies were found to be:

“focused more on the challenges of storing, protecting, accessing, and analysing massive amounts of data, and not as much on transforming or quantifying its business value.” 

Asha also stated that data is still not featured on company balance sheets as an asset. We, as a research company cannot even imagine that!
We don’t think that businesses fail to understand the importance of data, especially in the age of big data. It’s mostly just the fact that they do not fully grasp just HOW MUCH of a business asset data is. They undervalue and underestimate the importance of a good data strategy. Most companies also can’t manage their data and don’t know how to extract insights from it.

Did you know only 4% of businesses can extract value from their information (Data)?

68% of businesses plan to undertake an organisational transformation, only a small fraction have fully digitised their content-centric business processes.

By 2020 the digital universe reached 44 trillion gigabytes, a tenfold increase over 2013. However, most organisations are still at the beginning of their journey to extract value from information.

As CEO of Informatica — one of the world’s largest providers of cloud-based services for managing data across multiple environments, supporting analytics programs, and achieving compliance with data regulations — Anil Chakravarthysees how companies in every industry use data to make better business decisions. What distinguishes the most successful businesses, in his view, is that they have developed the ability to manage data as an asset across the whole enterprise. That ability depends on certain supporting elements: a strong technical foundation, mechanisms to govern the handling of data, and employee accountability for managing data well. In an interview with McKinsey partner Roger Roberts, Chakravarthy explains why these elements matter and offers examples of how they have helped companies use data in support of their business objectives.

“The most value comes from being able to collect and correlate information from different kinds of systems. For example, a major oil company that we work with historically used traditional data models and databases to determine things like the profitability of an oil well. They would start by collecting data about an oil well. What are my costs? How much production do I have? Then they could ask, If the oil price hits X, will this oil well be productive or not? That was a traditional way of analysing an oil well.

Now through IoT [the Internet of Things], they have a lot more data on actual products in terms of things like output and maintenance status. And they’re correlating that data. So now they develop predictive analyses that identify the most efficiently run or most effectively run oil wells, or the most profitable oil wells. Then they can make real-time decisions.

We see this in industry after industry. It’s being able to take the data that a company traditionally had, which dealt with things like profitability, cost, expense, et cetera, and combine it with more IoT-based data on efficiency, maintenance, status, and so on.” – Anil Chakravarthy

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said, “data are at the core of value creation, whereas physical assets are losing their significance in business models.”

The “technology handicap” is another roadblock to developing data as an asset. Advanced AI technologies like machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) require thorough use case analysis to determine which types of models are best suited for specific business applications. According to Karpagam Narayanan, Forbes Councils Member, the AI use-case mapping is still at a nascent stage, which is why businesses have not been able to derive the full benefits of data.

As a Marketing Research Agency, data is our bread and butter. We are collecting, sorting, analysing and deriving insights from it every day. We understand the impact that it has on businesses. Being able to make informed decisions is the most valuable outcome of data.

Take the load off your business and leave the data to us.
Time to treat data as an asset.