This week I will be attending Data West, the San Diego Super Computer's first-ever winter forum on Data. The conference is being organized in large part by Dr. Jim Short. December marks the beginning of the third year of working with Dr. Short on the specific topic of the value of data. If I were to write a summary statement for each year it would be as follows.
Year 1 - Data Valuation Problems
Dr. Short discovers, through broad industry surveys and targeted executive interviews, extraordinarily large data valuation use cases (> 1 billion dollars) that suffer from a lack of formalized data valuation business processes and underlying IT support. These significant use cases include data valuation during bankruptcy, M&A, cyber-insurance, monetization, and data sale. As the research progressed, a significant set of problem statements began to emerge, including...
- ...how much to pay for a data set
- ...how to identify data sets that can be monetized
- ...creating new data products and services
- ...understanding ROI on investment in the creation of analytic models
- ...how to correlate the value of data with data management (e.g. protection levels based on value)
During that first year, I found the following statement from Dr. Short to be most useful:
Surveys conducted and our own interviews / surveys show that currently in over two thirds of companies surveyed there is no systematic method for accurately measuring data value over time. And our research is showing that “architecting for value” is a critical future requirement in IT and business strategy planning and investment (to successfully compete and meet strategy and performance goals).
A common theme emerged in year 1: companies must begin to augment product and service revenues with data products and services but don't know how or where to start. Year 2 would attempt to fix that problem.
Year 2 - Data Valuation Solutions
During the second year of the research, our goal was to create an industry framework for implementing new data valuation business process on top of new valuation IT touch points. In October of 2016, I met with a large number of CIOs at Evanta's Global CIO Executive Summit to discuss Data's Economic Value in the Age of Digital Business. The recommendations were laid out in a 5-step approach to implementing data valuation, including...
- An approach for discussing the value of data as it applies specifically to business objectives, whether it be assigning value to data, assigning value to analytic models, or using an Infonomics-based approach that leverages specific valuation equations as a starting point.
- Two locations within an IT infrastructure for calculating value: during ingest and during business workflow.
- A method to tie data to business processes that generate business metadata regarding the relationship of the data to revenue and profit.
- The capability to annotate data with specific statements of value.
- How to roll out new valuation business process on top of services provided by IT.
To describe all 5 steps in action, we stepped through each insight as part of an industry use case that highlights the overall research results.
Year 3 - Data Valuation Implementations - and Further Research!
Within my own company we have already implemented many of these recommendations. In fact, Dell EMC produced one of its first data services during Year 2: the myService360 product.In addition, Dell EMC shipped our first product (Analytic Insights Module) that contains a catalog supporting data valuation.
While the research has already impacted the industry, it is still possible to continue in a variety of different research directions, as highlighted by the Data West agenda.
If you are in the San Diego area this week, there is still time to register. If you have specific questions or areas of research that you would like to explore, please comment or reach out to me on Twitter via the link below.
Fellow, Dell Technologies