The title of a scientific paper snags my attention: “Data Sharing as Part of the Normal Scientific Process: A View from the Pharmaceutical Industry”. The authors' starting point is: “As a matter of principle, we (researchers in pharma) should be willing to share data without regards to which disease is being studied”. Tackling disease is too important to not share data. There is no area of business where failing to share data is useful.I believe data sharing is the new normal – everywhere.
Business leaders need to consider that phenomena like data silos, information hoarding, and manual collation and analysis processes are not natural problems that have to be accepted or fought on an endless basis. These phenomena are the result of obsolete technologies and management practice.
The futurist Stewart Brand coined the phrase “information wants to be free”. He meant free as in not paid for, rather than at liberty – but these have come to mean the same thing. Few people who have repeated this slogan know that Brand also said “information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable” – he believed there is a tension between these two opposing forces. And I think the way to restore this insight – or, better, to transcend it – is to realize that information wants to flow.
Data is nothing without utilization. Data's value increases with its relatability to other data and its exploitation by other actors. Its value fades with stasis. That's why information wants to flow.