Data, The New Gold!January 18, 2020
Just recently i posted an article on Why Big Tech Firms Want A Piece of Finance
And after research i concluded that it’s not all about money. Yes they want profits and to provide value and solve society’s problems but also it’s about data! Imagine if you knew what people buy, where they buy it from, what time they buy it and what they actually buy. This kind of data is potentially worth millions even billions if sold to advertisers and used by G.A.F.A.M.
Before we even go far.
What is data?
Data is a record which can be either be of an individual or of any organization or of some. A record that contains some information and/or some value associated with that person or company/organization. It helps in identifying various other things related to any individual or business. Initially, it was less and it had very less information, but today it has increased to a next level and the more data you have, the richer you can be.
Everybody loves gold. It’s shiny and is perceived to have a value and status, due in part to its relative rarity. But data doesn’t have the same allure. Unlike gold, data is everywhere and doesn’t have the same mass appeal, but is it worth just as much?
The ancient Egyptians were the first to smelt gold over five thousand years ago. Since those early days, mankind has been captivated by the precious metal, and the desire to own it has led to great gold rushes and wars. Relatively speaking the data rush is only just beginning, the data war hasn’t started yet.
To obtain value from gold, it needs to be minted into coins, fashioned into jewellery, or increasingly used in technology thanks to its conductivity. This productisation creates a valuable entity that drives business profit. Data collected in isolation has no value, so like gold, it needs to be manipulated and analysed to get the most out of it.
Therefore like gold, data is a commodity. And it is the insight mined from this valuable resource that is the currency that gives you and your company the means to drive organic growth. Therefore while it is critically important to collect data (Like our forefathers mining for gold), the real impact comes from analysing the data you collect and hold in your vault.
‘Big Data’ is a topic that has plateaued in the last couple of years, bigger isn’t always better, big insights are more important than big data. We have had more data at our fingertips than we can reasonably use for a few years now and in contrast to this abundant data, insights remain relatively rare.
Finding these insights requires different people, technology, and skills. Insights derived from the smart use of data are hugely powerful, if they are smart and actionable they will have a real impact on your business. Brands and companies that are able to develop smart actionable insights, from any type of data will be winners. An experienced goldsmith with the right tools is going to add more value to the raw material than an apprentice with a hammer.
Like gold, the quality of data is also important, you can’t make an 18 karat ring from a 9 karat nugget. The lower grade material might be cheaper, but it won’t last as long. In the gold world ‘hardness’ does not equal ‘durability’. The same is true of data. Garbage in equals garbage out. High-quality data is fundamental to producing reliable models and insights. Regardless of how good your models are, if the data used to create them is poor, incomplete, outdated, biased or otherwise inaccurate, then the resulting predictions have little chance of being accurate, reliable or impactful.
Facebook’s most valuable asset is not the software that connects people, which can easily be replicated, but the data of the over two billion active users it connects.
The most valuable asset of Uber, the ride-hailing service that does not own a single taxi, is the data of the people who use it. The prime asset of Google, the largest library, which owns no physical library, is the index that takes customers to their desired websites.
Therefore, the new valuable asset is not gold but it is data. Data has become the new gold! With a population of 1.3 billion people and a total purchasing power parity gross domestic product (GDP) of $6.74 trillion, the population of Africa is growing at the rate of 2.6%.
Much of Africa’s demographic is youthful. Much of this population is increasingly connected to the internet.
In 2017, Facebook had 170 million subscribers, which constitutes approximately 15% of the total population of Africa and this subscription is growing. Companies such as Google reportedly give accounts in exchange of subscriber data. These companies have been reported to have sold this data to entities such as advertisers, political parties etc. The exchange of personal data for an account is unfair trade because the value of personal data is far greater than the value of an account.
Our world has never been more interconnected. Amazing leaps in technology have made a global community feel local in scale. The devices we carry in our pockets today have more computing power than the entire NASA space program did when we landed on the moon. Millions of Americans connect daily on social media, shop online for products and services they love, and find new opportunities they had never even considered. Each click, like, and share creates new data in the world, much of which can be used to deliver relevant marketing information and bring increased value to consumer audiences. Put simply, data is the new gold.
As the world becomes ever more data-driven, smart businesses look to fully realize the benefits of the data revolution, from streamlining internal processes and communicating more ably with current and potential customers, to lowering costs and creating jobs.
Whether you realize it, all of these benefits start in one place: your marketing department. Within your business, smart and strategic use of data in marketing can make your efforts lean and agile, bringing operating costs down while giving more power and punch to your efforts. When data is shared across departments, from marketing to customer service to IT, it paints a full, rich picture of your customer base and the challenges and opportunities presented. With this data readily available right inside your business, and shared across departmental lines, you no longer need to operate with one eye closed.
With the use of data-driven marketing and consumer engagement through a range of channels, businesses have never been closer to their customers. The barriers of entry for startups have also never been lower, given the ability to target and tailor messages to specific audiences.
Only data can’t help you get rich, but the way you understand data and the way you organize it and manage it is very important. The process on how you manage your data is crucial and if you get that right, you can gain higher value and turn your business into huge profits. The data that you get commercially or which is freely available is majorly unprocessed and noisy. Noisy meaning, the data contains null values, values which might harm the overall system and other spam values too. So to overcome this, data management is really very important.
To conclude: The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil or gold, but processed and analyzed data.
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