Can we measure the value of data?

Sunflower1Data is supposed to be an asset. If that is so, do we know how to measure its value? Is it a tangible asset that we can sell? Sometimes, yes, we can sell mailing lists, for example. Sometimes, no, due to data privacy regulations.

Can we calculate data opportunity costs, for example, how much would it cost if we didn’t have data?

How about a record in a database, how much does that cost? Probably nothing, until we use it in a business solution, in a predictive model, as part of data analysis or customer satisfaction measurement. The real value is not the data record itself but the business process where this data is used. The process may deliver value that can be measured.

Why do we then not treat data as an asset, as something that has value or that helps us to deliver value? There is so much bad quality data everywhere and not enough understanding why it’s important to have data. Good data. Valid data. Useful data.

What if we don’t have a customer’s accurate address, how may we contact them or do geographical analysis? What if we don’t have their birth date, how may we personalize our offering based on their age? What if we incorrectly record the date of a customer’s transaction, how may we analyze their past purchasing behavior?

Only when we truly understand that data is valuable, that it has value and that it helps us deliver value can we begin to understand why we should focus more on acquiring and maintaining good quality data.


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