The value of data
The key variable that defines any organizations growth potential is in the ability of its leaders to make the right decisions. Successful decisions are based on insight which is the product of informed processing of data. Data is the fuel that drives relevancy, engagement, response and ultimately: Revenue. What is even better is that this fuel is a highly sustainable and reusable resource. It can be used, but not exhausted. It is an asset that when properly invested in, can produce endless return.
Properly leveraged, data can be used to advance today’s goals towards profitable end. Leadership however, is not only concerned with reaching goals, it is also focused upon the direction that the successful completion of these goals can take the organization. Data Leadership:
- Recognizes the potentials of information beyond its initial reason for collection
- Provides vision and ability to advance tomorrows goals as we work on today’s
Far too often, the true business value of data is overshadowed by the potentials for misuse and subsequent negative impacts the business. Awareness of these dangers is fully justifiable. However, focusing solely on protection from the threat can stifle this critical resource. Risk myopia enfeebles the resource, preventing potential reward.
Other times, people and groups can be territorial about their intellectual property. Lines are drawn that exclude any potential for data sharing.
- “What if someone uses my efforts to do something better than me?”
- “This came from our work; we should control everything about it.”
- “Knowledge is power, so we should make sure our power can only be used by us.”
Sometimes, groups can do such a thorough job at collecting information that they forget the power of corporate citizenship. They actually become a roadblock to the broader potentials that their data can bring to a wider context. How an organization decides to leverage their data resource can have a strong impact on the business as a whole.
Typically, organizations feel satisfied that due diligence is achieved when they have efforts in place for “Data Management”. This practice is normally limited to:
- Understanding how data is used and structuring it to optimize that use
- Assuring data quality and accurate collection
- Protection by global generalization (locking it all down)
Unfortunately, sufficing with data management solutions frequently will limit potentials for data to the use for which the information was collected, or a smaller area of impact that that information can be used to obtain.
“Data Leadership” expands on the management of data by understanding its value and methods that can be used to leverage it. Data Leadership considers:
- Maximizing the opportunities of the resource through strategic business application
- Increasing the sphere of potential by assuring its availability to other creative minds within the organization
- Providing proper investment into data identification, classification and security
- Promoting growth through reuse of the resource
- Internally facilitating the “Internet of Things” to maximize organic growth
While data management focuses on “use” data leadership is more about leveraging data as a business advantage.