Data, Value, Sense, Cents, and People
by Dwayne Phillips
Data seems to be opposite of everything else when it comes to saving it, using it, and producing value.
When we use things, they lose value. Drive a car a thousand miles and its loses value, i.e., no one will pay as much for a car with 1,000 miles as they will for a car with 10 miles. Hit nails with a hammer for ten years, the hammer is worn and not as valuable. There are exceptions like houses that gain value after time, but there are other economic forces in play.
Then we consider data. Store data and don’t use it. That costs money as we have to buy computers and disk drives and turn them on and pay the utility bills and pay people to administer them. The data loses value when not used.
Use data. Employ it to decide on what to buy and sell and when and where and that data produces value.
Hmmm, using data multiplies its value. Not using data reduces its value. Doesn’t make sense in light of many other things, but it makes dollars and cents when used.
Not in the business of business and making money? Consider a non-profit organization that connects people. Whenever someone says “data,” substitute “people.” Employing people increases their value. Connecting people increases their value. Having people sit and do nothing decreases their value.
I often read the cliche’ “data is the new oil.” Perhaps “data is like people” is more apt as well as “data use means value.”
I’ll have to think about this a little more.