The Wondrous and Perilous Properties of Data and Information in Organizations
Thomas C. Redman
Savvy managers recognize that data and information are strategic assets, possibly even the “ultimate proprietary technology,” in Nicholas Carr’s term.
After all, they are the only asset that is uniquely your own. No other organization has, or can have, the same data that your organization has. Your data reflect your strategies, customers, products, and employees — everything that matters in your organization.
Competitors can copy your processes, buy the same equipment, steal your customers, and entice your employees with better offers. But unless you let them, they can’t have your data and information.
Further, data and information have properties that have no good analogues in other assets. These properties simultaneously promise enormous potential and pose unprecedented challenges.
Managers must become adept at finding courses of action that take advantage of the upside and avoid the downside.
This article explores each of the properties that make data remarkably different from most traditional assets.