Treating Information as an Asset

The emergence of chief data officers (CDOs) in many organizations and across industries indicates a growing recognition of information as a strategic business asset – one distinguished from the technology through which it flows. In fact, by 2020, Gartner predicts that 10 percent of organizations will have a highly profitable business unit specifically for productizing and commercializing their information assets.

According to Douglas Laney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, to achieve direct monetization of data requires supplementing your existing business model. This implies creating a team with a specific job of defining, developing and productizing the market for the information asset, similar to the product development life cycle established for managing and marketing traditional products.

In most organizations CDOs will participate in, if not lead, data monetization efforts as a way to demonstrate their own value. However, the CDO’s path will not always be an easy one. Although Gartner expects 90 percent of large organizations to have hired a CDO by 2019; it estimates that, of these, only 50 percent will be hailed a success.

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Because this role and its functions are new in most organizations, the majority of these data leaders are learning on the job. Their first task is to create an information strategy that both mitigates risks and improves business outcomes. The most difficult issue for many CDOs is creating relevant metrics that tie the activities of information management to key business drivers. While monetization of data is a relatively straightforward way to demonstrate value, determining which data assets can be monetized, and how, is not an easy task.

Although stakeholders are demanding better availability and quality of information, they are often unsure as to the exact mechanics of making that happen.;

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