As the information age progresses, our ability to work with data is becoming more sophisticated. This is not just because we have more sources of data than ever before, greater storage, faster processors, ubiquitous connectivity and so on. It's also because our growing familiarity with data exploitation is generating new ways of thinking about data.
Fifty years ago it was a big deal to print out a phone bill. Today, multichannel customer tracking is becoming the norm. Likewise the ability to generate an accurate graph is no longer big news. The keynote today is on understanding the different business values data can take depending on its context.
I like the language Paul Rowady uses to articulate this new thinking. He talks about the “nutritional value” of data. Which data is potentially valuable information, and which is just noise?
Rowady also uses metaphors from chemistry and physics to explore the value of data. An item of data can have, for example, “catalytic” value because, combined with other data, it produces an important effect – perhaps even an explosion. Then there's the rate at which a data item decays – a great way of bringing attention to the vitality of timeliness in data management. These are vivid metaphors which can help us recognize data as a vital asset, and help us communicate the real importance of excellence in data management. TABB Forum