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Is data the new dark gold

Yes, this is another article/opinion about data and the comparison of its value with that of Oil....

It is impressive when we look back, especially over the last few decades, and realize the volume of information that existed and was within our reach, without any inherent legal constraints, such as the “General Data Protection Regime” or equivalent. The truth is that none of us attributed the due value to all this volume of information; essentially because we did not understand what added value could come from them for ourselves, as people or professionals, the exception was probably made by some marketing companies and lobbying companies linked to politics, which already at that time perceived the existence of some potential to ourselves.

Effectively, for some years now, data has assumed an increasing importance, fitting properly into what many call the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). From the outset, we see the great technological leaps, from 3G, through 4G and now 5G, as well as the digitalization associated with modern times, such as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), “Artificial Intelligence” (AI), between others. At the same time, tools and methodologies were designed that allowed for the adequate analytical treatment of the data, with a view to achieving certain objectives.

Currently, we believe that there are few actions that we perform in our day-to-day without having some underlying database. The value assigned to something is always subjective and depends, like most products and services, on the amount someone is willing to pay (commonly called the “Law of Supply and Demand”, not to mention the “five forces of Porter”).

It would be a gross mistake to compare data and its value with crude oil and its value. Despite this, we recognize that there are some similarities between both assets. Both are a kind of “raw material” that has a marketable value as long as they are properly “refined”. In fact, any of these raw materials only translate into value for the consumer (B2B or B2C) if they are refined (in the case of crude) and treated/analyzed (in the case of data). This is where the new “professionals” of modern times come into play – the Data Scientists!

I dare to say that data is an inexhaustible and infinite source present throughout the world, on the contrary, crude oil reserves are the opposite. Additionally, the value potential is substantially higher in the case of data when compared to crude oil.

The key to all this is surely the way in which these same data are treated and analyzed (“Big data”) and, consequently, are transformed into effective tradable value.

“Big data” is commonly referred to as “a technological solution aimed at the analysis and interpretation of large volumes of data, from different sources. The term is most commonly used to describe the strategy of gathering, systematizing, organizing and processing large volumes of information".

This analysis and treatment of large volumes of data/information has a strong impact on the (r)evolution of the Society. It brings new challenges and opportunities, but above all it forces all of us, whether we like it or not, to have the ability to adapt and “reinvent” to deal with all the consequences that come from here, both in personal and professional terms (whether Companies, Public Institutions and Organizations, or Regulators).

Above all, it is necessary to know how to use and process data in a responsible, ethical and suitable way, and for that, there is nothing better than going back to the 18th century and revisiting the work of the philosopher Immanuel Kant on this subject.

As Stan Lee said in “Spider-Man”, “With great power comes great responsibility”.