Infonomics Basics: Treating Data As an Asset

Video produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly

Infonomics author Doug Laney outlined the rudiments of his "Infonomics" approach to monetizing, managing, and measuring data in this clip from his keynote at Data Summit Connect Fall 2020.

There are three components that are central to infonomics, said Laney. "And that is monetizing data as an asset, managing data as an asset, and measuring data as an asset, and the way they all fit together is that, there's the old adage that you can't manage, what you don't measure. And I think my hypothesis has been, being in the industry for several decades, that many companies don't manage their data particularly well, certainly compared to the way that they manage other assets. I mean, most companies manage their their office furniture with more discipline than the way they manage their data assets. Why? Because it's a balance sheet asset, but I also think it follows that you can't monetize, or you can't generate economic benefits from anything that you're not managing well. So, for many organizations, this tends to be kind of a vicious cycle of not measuring  their data in any way—its potential value, its actual value, its quality characteristics, or anything like that."

Therefore, said Laney, they're not in a position to get the kinds of resources or a focus that they need to manage it as an asset. "And, therefore, because it's not managed well, maybe it's not as complete, as correct, or available, or as well-integrated as it ought to be; it's not as monetizeable, as, as it should be. But again, by monetizing data, I'm not talking about just selling data, but generating any kind of value stream from data."

"The idea behind infonomics is that, as we say here in Chicago, we Cubs fans talk about reversing the curse. And so, by starting with measuring data, you're in a better position to manage it better, and then in a better position to generate value from it. So really if there is any kind of one takeaway from this, other than kind of the economic characteristics, this is, this is it ."

Videos of full presentations from Data Summit Connect Fall 2020, a 3-day series of data management and analytics webinars presented by DBTA and Big Data Quarterly, are also now available for on-demand viewing on the DBTA YouTube channel.