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Don’t Underestimate the Value of Data

Read this month’s blog from Head of Data, David, as he considers the potential data impact of Elon Musk’s recent decisions during his Twitter takeover.

Whilst it may be currently unclear what strategy Elon Musk has in his purchase of Twitter, it is clear that recent events are having a major impact in the valuation of the company. Having fallen approximately $14 Billion since purchase, the loss of value is due to a number of significant factors. One of the situations of concern is the potential loss of the skilled engineering workforce who hold the knowledge around the day-to-day operational challenges of the network. Although the impact of this will not become apparent immediately, it will manifest itself in the longer term and is a concern for the market. Failure to understand the value of critical components of any business will always be a risk and for data organisations the value will reside around a number of areas which differ from the historical approach of stock, production capabilities, and bricks and mortar.

The value of a data set can vary dramatically upon its relevance to the area of focus and the ability of the organisation to extract hidden value. Accumulation of large data lakes can increase value exponentially in relation to the sum of smaller sets. Historical data can release value over time through new analytics and current data can quickly become obsolete. Understanding the exact value of data can be very difficult for an organisation but recognition of the potential and the associated risk will define the necessary levels of protection. In addition, the value residing within the development process will reflect not only the knowledge bank established during application building process and the deep knowledge of its workings but also the lessons learned on the development journey.

The nature and speed of scalability within the data sector offers an acceleration of value greater than can be achieved in other manufacturing sectors therefore understanding where on the lifecycle an organisation is, will be significant in recognising value. Identifying areas of value within the organisation will ensure appropriate levels of focus are applied to protect these assets moving forward.

What Twitter looks like in twelve months and the success or failure of the chosen strategy remain to be seen but there will certainly be some interesting lessons to be learned, both good and bad, on driving value within the data sector.

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