Data as a corporate asset
21 May 2019
For years we have been talking about the asset value of data and new research from Accenture provides vindication for our continued quest for data to be recognised and protected at a corporate level.
The study shows that despite a quarter of businesses (increasing to a third amongst large businesses) having experienced some form of criminal attempt on their data over the last 12 months, only 50 per cent of organisations have insured themselves against data loss or a data breach. It is thought the major reason for this is that too many businesses are maintaining traditional practices and not adding data to the classic asset classes which include: monetary, physical, relational, organisational and human. George Marcotte the MD of Accenture was quoted as saying: “It’s only the new platform companies that see data as a sixth asset class. Not only will they take steps to insure it, but they also take bigger steps to invest in it. As data becomes more vital to business success, not taking all steps to protect it is like forgetting to insure the Crown Jewels.”
However, it’s not just insurance that organisations are forgetting when it comes to protecting their data. It’s maintenance too. The value of data is directly proportional to its accuracy. Poor quality, inaccurate or ‘dirty’ data is less valuable than healthy, up to date, accurate information. Why then do so many organisations fail to clean data on a regular basis? At last estimate (DMA 2016) only a third of companies carried out quarterly data hygiene updates. As we discussed in our blog a few weeks ago, given that customer data is increasingly being used to drive data science initiatives data hygiene needs to be taken more seriously or organisations risk making important corporate decisions based on biased models. Consequently, data hygiene can no longer be a tactical consideration. It must become a strategic one.
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