Discovering Data’s Value

When it comes to making business decisions about customers, which internal data sets are the most valuable?

Data sets that represent customer orders and shipments?

Data sets that contain customer service information?

Of course the answer is: “it depends on the business decision.” Calculating the value of data has typically involved fuzzy math.

Several years ago we first asked the question: “What is the economic value of data in an information-driven world?

New research results from Dell EMC research partner UC San Diego offer the promise of new tools and services for calculating data’s value. Dr. Jim Short of the San Diego Supercomputer Center has been studying the value of data with Dell EMC for nearly three years, identifying that companies will need to develop greater expertise at valuing their data sets.

As part of the research partnership, Dell EMC examined internal customer data sets and used the Gartner Infonomics approach to score the business value of information (BVI). The resulting scores for five different data elements are depicted below.

In the chart above, information about the customer sale (e.g. customer address and tax jurisdiction) are more heavily leveraged by internal business processes.  For example, the customer address field is roughly twice as valuable as data coming from the customer’s installation (shown above as “Customer Install Configuration.”)

By using another Gartner equation, however, we discovered that the intrinsic value (IVI) of this customer installation is significantly higher than the customer address due to the uniqueness and exclusiveness of configuration information versus the customer address.

We found that the Gartner equations are a great way to “flag” high-value data sets that may or may not be underutilized. This type of exercise becomes increasingly valuable when trying to make business decisions based on data.

Results like these (and more) will discussed at the upcoming Data West conference in San Diego this December. Dell EMC is also architecting a service offering which not only explores the current use of data, but determines the economic predicted value of data as well.

For those reading this who are interested in attending the Data West conference this December, or who would like to hear more about the formation of a Data Value service offering, please feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment below.

About the Author: Steve Todd

Steve Todd is the Vice President of Data Innovation and Strategy in the Dell Technologies Office of the CTO. He is a long-time inventor in high tech, having filed over 300 patent applications with the USPTO, and his innovations and inventions have generated tens of billions of dollars in global customer purchases. Steve actively researches the value of data and is currently the Head of the Data Office focused on extracting new forms of value from internal data assets. Most recently, Steve co-founded and launched Project Alvarium, an open-source research platform for valuing trustworthy data in a data confidence fabric (DCF). Steve is a Dell Technologies’ Fellow with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire.