jueves, 29 de mayo de 2014

The need to establish a roadmap from data towards growth

There is a clear need for developing "Data Value" strategies in the digital era. Data is the blood of the digital ecosystem, what is the same to say that is the blood of all the social and economy activities, and we are walking on big strides to world based on data-driven decisions. Some public and private organisations has developed strategies on how to handle with concepts as open data, big data or personal data, but these are partial approaches. It is needed a holistic approach to data (in digital format, of course) because due to the "super additive"  quality of data and quick advances of technology, any adjective to data is artificial: non personal data become personal data mixed with other sources of information, today "small" data that are result from an activity grow  afterwards to "big" data when the measurement of the activity can be done more frequently due to new sensing technologies, ... and so on.

As a consequence of their triple role as provider, consumer and regulator of the data lifecycle, Governments of all territorial layer should be the firsts in developing a "Data Value" Strategy. Unfortunately, these works are still in their infancy, mainly because the awareness of the value of data in the digital economy is quite recent.  Take the case of the European Union. Although its "Digital Agenda for Europe" is less than five years old, the data value strategy is developed following a silo approach (On one hand, there are chapters dedicated to Reuse of PSI; on the other hand, there are chapters dedicated a personal data) and it is incomplete (no mention at all to "Big Data" issues). These limitations of the EU Data Value Strategy are on the brink to be overcome. On one hand, the mid-term review of the Digital Agenda for Europe highlighted the explosion of data of the last years. On the other hand, a "EU data value chain strategy" has been drafted.

As it has been pointed, the first step in the development of Data Value Strategy is defining its scope. I have clearly stated my opinion that all kind of data should be included in the strategy. The focus should not be which is the kind of data to be handled, but which our objective of handling the data: Building a data-driven society (or organisation). Once it is established and accepted this objective, the focus should be on how to remove the barriers that stand between us and the objective. Beyond the technological barriers (it is obvious that you will need some new gadgets on place), there are lack of skills to be solved, laws or rules that needed to be updated and new education and ethics that has to be provided. Last but not least is the question of obtaining and enlarging our data pool and learning to make the right questions on it. The definition of our lifecycle in the last cornerstone of our strategy, the identification of the sources of data and how to fund its procurement is as important of the digestion of this data to obtain the knowledge needed for our organisation (anf if possible more data for our pool of information).

Data appears as an unlimited resource for richness and growth. But neither of them will be obtained if we do not stop for a minute a define the path towards it.

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