What is Data Value and Should it be Viewed as a Corporate Asset?

A lot has changed since the 1950’s when the average age of a publicly-traded company listed on the S&P 500 has gone down from being 60 years old to now less than 20 years old according to research from Credit Suisse investor analysts. Companies that are embracing using new technologies, automation, Big Data, Machine Learning, and innovation are gaining market share on the list, and are disrupting older legacy businesses that have been slower to adapting and transforming to digital changes. In fact 5 of the 6 biggest companies (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook) by market cap valuation are data technology businesses. Companies that understand the true value of their data and leverage it with advanced analytics technologies are seeing continued growth. A Forbes contributor Howard Baldwin makes a comparison to prove the point of proving data’s value:

“Why is Facebook currently valued at 415 billion and United Airlines, a company that actually owns things like airplanes and has licenses to lucrative things like airport facilities and transoceanic routes between the U.S. and Asia, among other places, is only worth $24 billion.”

These disruptive innovators, use Big Data solutions as competitive advantages to reduce operational costs, increase revenue, predict behavior, improve cash flows. They weave data into every function of the organization. Data is not only being used to record what has transpired, but it also being used to predict and drive transformative disruptive changes at alarming speeds. And yet how many companies are listing their data as tangible corporate asset on their balance sheet?

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