I say they're connecting the dots here because the idea that data is an asset has been around a long time. But the idea that data could be worth money is kind of new. And yet the two ideas are really saying the same thing.
So we have people in organizations – sometimes from the tech side, sometimes from the business – promoting the exploitation of data for business benefit. The business case tends to be generic. The better your data, the better your decision making, the more accurate your targeting, the more complete your actions etc. But we don't usually point at a class of business data and say: This item is worth $ to the company.
The monetary value of data is becoming clearer thanks to companies' interest in selling data on. Thanks to greater connectivity – and data standards – markets in data are growing. Simple, atomic data streams like stock prices achieved market pricing a long time ago. In more recent times, “eyeballs” achieved value on the web.
The next step in our thinking should be to apply market pricing methods to all our corporate data, whether or not we're thinking about trying to sell it. Look at it this way: If we didn't have the addresses of our customers, what would we pay to get them? Areas for investigation can be prioritized – you don't have to boil the ocean on this one.
This practice would bring a new dimension to data audit. I have no doubt iterations would be needed to improve initial data valuations. But placing monetary values on data would mark a real transition to an asset view of data, with beneficial secondary effects in attitudes, processes, and skills. Monetize Data