Posted on: February 26, 2021 | 3 min read

Three Steps to Treating Data as an Asset: Infonomics Recap

The information presented below is summarized in part from the book Infonomics by the author Doug Laney and the presentation "How to Monetize Your Data Assets and Gain a Competitive Advantage" hosted by CCG.

Many IT leaders understand that their data is valuable but do not know to what extent. At CCG, we often get asked – How can I monetize my data? Can my data be put onto my balance sheet? What is my data worth?

Best-selling author of Infonomics and former Gartner Executive Doug Laney walked through the answers to these very questions in a webinar "How to Monetize Your Data Assets and Gain Competitive Advantage." In this blog, you will learn:

  • If you can claim data on a corporate balance sheet
  • Three steps to treating data as an asset
  • Ways to start getting value from your data

Does Data Belong on a Balance Sheet?

Setting the stage for the book's inspiration, Doug walks through lesser-known tragedies from the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Before the innovation behind offsite backups and days of cloud computing, hard copies of information were kept by businesses. When the twin towers fell on 9/11, the buildings' organizations lost information on transactions, employees, customers, and more. Businesses fought to claim the loss of data but the insurance companies actively worked to disprove data as property. In the years following, the court systems were confused on how to differentiate physical property and information, and accounting standards called for information to be intangible. Business leaders at data-rich organizations soon felt unjustified in their valuations.

However, just because you cannot claim data as a line item on your balance sheet does not mean that it is not an asset.

Three Steps to treating data as an asset include:

  • Monetizing data
  • Managing data
  • Measuring data

Generating benefits from your data can take on direct and indirect methods.

Indirect Examples Include:

  • Improving process performance
  • Building partner relationships
  • Developing new products or markets

Direct Examples Include:

  • Bartering/trading with data
  • Enhancing products or services with data
  • Offering insights, analyses, and reports

Without knowing, you are likely using data as an asset already. Businesses commonly are integrating data back into their decision-making efforts and depending on it for growth.

Ways to Get Started in Valuing your Data

In the final section of the three-part method for seeing data as an asset, Doug goes into an information valuation model.

Foundational Measures evaluate the intrinsic value, business value, and performance value of data. These measures seek users to understand data relevancy, completeness of data, and effects on business drivers.

Financial Measures, on the other hand, take a more quantitative evaluation. These areas include cost value, market value, and economic value. These measures seek users to understand areas like cost resulting from lost data, valuation for trading data, and driving revenue.

Getting Started

In order to treat data as an asset, you must monetize, manage, and measure it to improve its potential and realized value. CCG's Governance Framework and information management competencies help users understand data quality opportunities, consolidation of information architecture, and the valuation of their data. Get started by downloading our datasheet on Data Governance and begin working with a data strategist today.

Written by CCG, an organization in Tampa, Florida, that helps companies become more insights-driven, solve complex challenges and accelerate growth through industry-specific data and analytics solutions.

Topic(s): Strategy
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