These days, data-driven organisations have begun to adopt a new, forward-thinking approach with regard to their data. These organisations no longer just see data as useful for gaining business insights or improving efficiency – they see data as a financial asset in and of itself. This new approach is called Infonomics, and it’s steadily becoming known as a prerequisite to a truly data-driven company.
Infonomics goes beyond simply viewing information as an important asset, but actually valuing and treating it like one. Physical and financial assets were traditionally considered ‘real’ assets, whereas data was seen as an intangible business benefit. But Infonomics asserts that data qualifies for all the accounting standards criteria of an asset with a measurable economic value, and should appear on P&L’s and balance sheets. The fact that most companies have yet to do this, signifies that these companies collect, manage, deploy and value their data with less discipline than most traditional balance sheet assets.
An indirect benefit to valuing data as a tangible asset, is companies taking greater measures to secure data and to enforce better data governance. When data is seen explicitly with monetary value, managing its integrity, security and overall quality becomes paramount. Apart from this, some other useful benefits to leveraging data through Infonomics include:
- Measuring data value: adopting an Infonomics approach will force an organisation’s data professionals to carefully examine the economic benefit of their data.
- Improving company valuation: developing a more accurate value for an entire company when data is appropriately valued can result in found money. Company’s not valuating data risk undervaluing the entire organisation.
- Profiting from information: when data has been properly monetised as a viable product, organisations can look to selling this data, gaining profits from previously unforeseen places.
- Bringing focus to governance: taking a proactive approach to data governance leads professionals into more thorough techniques, such as mapping data lineage. Granularity, age and potential application of data can greatly impact the actual and perceived value of data, so exploring these attributes is important.
- Lifting the veil on dark data: truly leveraging data counteracts the common misconception that data only has value when applied; that idle, or dark data as it is better known, is worthless. The fact is that ALL data has discernible future economic value, it just needs to be discovered.
Using an Infonomics approach in your organisation presents an important challenge to most data professionals; finding the value in data benefits companies in a myriad of different ways, and if done correctly, can truly lead your organisation in a data-driven direction.
Paul Phillips, EMEA Director