Over the last few years, talk about data ‘as an asset’ has been heard more and more frequently. But do companies really see their data carrying a monetary value?
According to a SAS-commissioned study, one in five CFOs now give promenance to data and managing it as an asset on their balance sheet. The study ‘Data and the CFO: A Love/Hate Relationship’ also suggested that the number of senior financial leaders that have this attitude is growing.
Many large firms have also taken the step to appoint someone in an executive position as Chief Data Officer, a role that appoints them as responsible for developing ‘the data asset’. So why is data being awarded this monetary value?
The study conducted by SAS suggests that data management is viewed by all participating senior finance leaders as having the potential to support growth. Analysing and reviewing data can help a company to gain and maintain an advantage over their competitors. As Jeanne G. Harris highlights in her article for Accenture: “Take Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company. A thorough examination of seven years’ worth of ticket sales data allowed the RSC to sell more to existing customers and identify new audiences. Using analytics to look at names, addresses, performances attended and prices paid for tickets, the company developed a marketing program that increased the number of regular attendees at its showcase Stratford-upon-Avon location by more than 70 percent.”
So now that data holds this value, companies need to be active in ensuring they are reaping the benefits that their data asset can bring.
“Given the reliance on data in the modern firm, not being able to assess whether or not the asset meets current & future business requirements is a major shortcoming” Patrick Dewald, Data Governance Architect and founding partner in Diaku. It is important that there is a proper data register in place and there needs to be a go-to point for finding out about data sourcing, usage and quality. Dewald also highlighted that companies need an integrated view on their critical data elements and where they are used. Data needs to be freed from various systems that make up a company’s system infrastructure so that companies can combine data and analyse it to get the maximum value from it.