Thursday, September 30, 2021

What is the Value of Your Data?

UnionBank Gizmo Manila

  In this digital age, every person generates different kinds of data at large volumes. This data includes almost everything one inputs on the internet—social media posts, search topics, saved videos on streaming platforms, pinned locations, health statistics, etc.

  With this rich data about everyone, organizations nowadays realize that data is a key asset in unlocking new revenue streams and new opportunities in our digital reality. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others, productize and monetize the enormous hordes of data collected from users across their platforms. One of the most prominent monetization is using data for targeting audiences for advertising.

  The importance of data has been amplified due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More new users are coming online as organizations are forced to undergo an accelerated digital transformation. Online transactions are happening at a faster rate, work from home employment is becoming a new standard, and companies are ramping up their remote working, cloud computing and e-commerce  capacities.

  Consequently, not only is more data available, but more data can also be collected.

  Therefore, the question of “How much are my data assets worth?” is more pertinent now than ever and it is imperative that we figure out a way to answer this question.

  As a rejoinder, UnionBank Senior Advisor for Data and Artificial Intelligence Dr. David R. Hardoon shares an analogy to simplify such a complicated concept --that what seems to be the value of data today, is not its actual value. 

“To draw a simple analogy, imagine you enroll in a 21-day fitness program. This involves PHP 10,000 as program fee, 2 hours/day of exercise, and the mental effort to restrain oneself from eating unhealthy food. At the end of the program, 10 pounds have been lost, the waist size reduced by 2 inches, followed by compliments received. All of these are ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ which are observable and therefore constitute the realized value of the fitness program."
“However, is that the entirety of the fitness program's value? No. There would be additional value in being less likely to gain weight, less likely to contract chronic diseases and so forth. These additional costs and/or benefits occur in the future and are unobservable at the current point in time. These constitute the fitness program’s potential value.”

  With this analogy, the complete value of the data assets cannot be ascertained right away as there is a potential value that is not yet observable at the moment. To address this, there must be an exhaustive list of the characteristics that play a part in assessing the value of data. Hardoon suggested that machine learning can help here as it would aid in the analysis of data relative to its worth. However, this is an area that demands continued and focused research.

  Mindful of this, UnionBank thus, puts a premium on data science and artificial intelligence - to uncover ways that would put data collected to good use for the benefit of customers.

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