Measuring the economic value of data


Today, there are new and changing uses of data in the digital economy. The big questions however are, who is winning with data, where is this data being kept, what makes new data different, when should data be kept, moved, deleted or transformed, how should data be valued, and why data is so much more important than it used to be?

Data is one of the most important assets that any company has, but it’s surprising that we don’t put the same rigor into understanding and measuring the value of our data that we put into more traditional physical assets. Furthermore, should data be depreciated as an asset? Or perhaps it appreciates like art. Counter-intuitively, the answer is “yes” to both.

To measure the value of data, we can apply some simple economic principles. For example, we know from IT forecasts that the amount of digital data being produced is much higher than the amount of data storage being purchased. 

Why is this the case? Simply put: Some data is produced, but not stored. Applying a simple supply and demand curve helps to explain why. (Source: IDC Digital Universe, Recode.)

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