Chapter 3The Data


Big data, what is referred to as the vast quantity of both structured and unstructured information that is now available as a result of the Internet and other sources, can be manipulated in ways never before possible, and is becoming the backbone of corporate performance and economic growth. Big data is the oil of the information economy that needs to be treated as an economic asset. If not, companies are condemned to confirm the old witticism that a skeptic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Yet the value of big data is not well understood.

Globally, companies are starting to realize that no matter what industry they are in, one of their most precious assets is their data. If harnessed correctly, the data can unleash new forms of economic value. However, putting a price tag on data is essential. Otherwise, the information will be undervalued, and the potential for further developing and monetizing big data may not be fully realized.

Companies are also finding that big data doesn't necessarily translate into easy success. Furthermore, there is no real means for companies to calculate the true value of their data. To further complicate this situation, according to the Wall Street Journal's technology reporter Shira Ovide, roughly 44 percent of information technology professionals surveyed recently said that they had worked on big data initiatives that were eventually scrapped or put on hold. As a result, the value of information ...

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