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Data compliance and opportunity

Enterprise data that is treated as an asset is highly likely to be compliant. A bank’s account services are valuable assets and must align with regulations. A machine or manufactured product must observe a host of rules such as health and safety, calibrations or environmental demands. Therefore data must be engineered effectively and given the same level of organisational importance as its asset peers elsewhere in the organisation.

When online data businesses overtook oil firms in 2016 as the most valuable businesses globally, it should have heralded an understanding of the value of data. The truth is somewhat different; many organisations continue to struggle with understanding the value of the data they collect and hold. One government CIO revealed to Gartner, vice president and distinguished analyst Douglas Laney that his organisation has a better audit of its toilets in the building than its information.

Alphabet (parent firm of Google), Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have become the world’s most valuable firms because of their understanding of data’s intrinsic value. Perhaps that is easy to understand in the case of the search engine firm such as Google, but for Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, it was by valuing and using data that these businesses have diversified into media production, recruitment platforms, considered financial services and become more than the handset for communications, but the entire network. It was only through the insights into how their customers were behaving that these giants of technology have been able to disrupt the formerly secure worlds of banking, publishing, travel and much more.