Data Is the New Oil

Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google, channeling Coca-Cola’s Robert Goizueta, said in 2013, “[A] billion hours ago, modern homo sapiens emerged. A billion minutes ago, Christianity began. A billion seconds ago, the IBM PC was released. A billion Google searches ago … was this morning.”1 Google isn’t the only company with extraordinary amounts of data. From large companies like Facebook and Microsoft to local governments and startups, data collection is cheaper and easier than ever before. This data has value. Billions of searches mean billions of lines of data with which Google can improve its services. Some have called data “the new oil.”

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