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Is Data the New Oil?

Is Data the New Oil?

Is Data the New Oil?

For several years, there’s been an ongoing debate among economic types as to whether “data is the new oil”. With both oil and data, the amount of mining required is overwhelming. Of course, unlike oil, data just keeps growing, and will probably never be scarce. Data is not consumed, but rather it continues to be generated. According to Statista, the total amount of data captured in the world is forecasted to reach 80 zettabytes in 2021, continuing to grow to more than 180 zettabytes by 2025!

All this data, if used effectively, is the fuel for analytics, business planning, targeted marketing efforts, and AI/Machine learning optimization. However, if it is not “refined”, it is not useful at all. In other words, Big Data is not always Better Data. Refinement, and culling through to the best data, and targeting your informational goals, is most important to turn these bits and bytes into information. Quality is king!

So what can go wrong?

  • Collecting data is only a small part of this effort. It is important that your data management and process are well tuned to be effective, and your details are clean, accurate, and complete.
  • Data must be available and easy to access. Without access tools, it might as well be buried in the ground.
  • Data must be safe, with fault tolerant/redundant systems which are also secure.
  • Data collection must also be done legally and ethically, with proper disclosures to customers. This is especially true for any marketing efforts.
  • Your system and processes must be cost effective and run smoothly, so that this information becomes an asset, not a cost center.

Where should you start?

Like a kid in a candy shop, the amount of data and the options to use can be overwhelming. It is important that you stay focused on the following:

  • Concentrate on collecting data that is actually useful, accurate, and appropriate.
  • Keep an eye on the business model. Identify and collect new data that can add intelligence to your plan and help your business grow.
  • Be aware of ethical and security issues. Database access must be constantly monitored to prevent any possible breach.
  • Make sure that your systems are efficient and running smoothly. Maintain, backup, and monitor your database frequently.

Want to talk about ways to improve your databases and processes? AnswerPoint lives, breaths, and sleeps data.   Not only can we keep your databases functioning and effective, but we specialize in helping our clients find new ways to digitally transform their businesses into “well oiled” machines… without the oil. We’re here today for tomorrow.

Send us a signal and we’ll be there to help every time.

Ed Weisberg is VP of Sales and Business Development at AnswerPoint, LLC.  He can be reached at

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