The data that our businesses own has become the name of the game when it comes to what ultimately lies at the core of economic value today, now seemingly more than ever before.
We appear to be entering the era of the knowledge economy, where most of what we do in business (about 50% of where the value in developed countries comes from) is tied to the creation and management of knowledge. Thus, data — especially the actionable knowledge derived from it — has now, at least on average, become the dominant supply-chain component of whatever products and services we provide to the marketplace.
One way of thinking about it is considering what would happen if we lose the software that we currently use to run our businesses. Chances are pretty good that we’ll be able to find new applications to replace the old ones. But lose your data and you’d soon go out of business. Data has become the economic lifeblood of our organizations, whether that’s intellectual property, critical methods, business records, operational data, and especially the higher-order knowledge that drives an organization’s strategic activities (both explicit and tacit knowledge).