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The Economic Value of Data in an Information Driven World

Paul Henaghan, President of EMC Southeast Asia, exhibitor at BroadcastAsia 2016 | May 24, 2016
As organisations race to make sense of the opportunities and problems associated with our increasingly data driven world, businesses are coping with the need to more accurately measure its true value.

Data in a Digital Bankruptcy

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., which controls Caesars Palace, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah's Reno and more than a dozen regional properties, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Interestingly, the most valuable individual asset that creditors are vying for is Caesar's Total Rewards Loyalty Programme, the company's big-data customer loyalty programme that it has been built over the last 17 years and is said to have data on more than 45 million customers.  This data is valued by creditors at $1 billion - that's a fairly large number. It exceeds the value of any of Caesar's physical Las Vegas properties, which really puts the value of data in perspective. The programme is also said to be 17 percent of the total value of all Caesar's operating assets. Since the gaming industry does not have agreed upon valuation policies and practices for data, the value of the Total Rewards Loyalty Programme will be contested in court and could result in interesting rulings around data valuation.

Data Deals; Mergers and Acquisitions

Data is now one of the primary assets companies are after in an M&A, in some cases more so than the people, IP, or real estate.  In LinkedIn's recent acquisition of, data was likely the biggest asset to come along with the acquisition price. LinkedIn's CEO Jeff Weiner made note of's extensive library of premium video as a compelling reason to buy the company, meaning that LinkedIn was after's data assets to augment its professional network. Out of the $1.5 billion, it's likely that a significant portion went toward the purchase of video data assets.

Information Economy for a Better World

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) aims to develop pharmaceutical and diagnostic targets in cancer by making it easy to share genetic data. This collaboration of National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Human Genome Research Institute in essence looks to code genomic data so that standards-based, common data elements can be shared through open-source infrastructure.

To succeed in the Information Economy, an organisation must place data at the heart of everything that they do, every day. Businesses have to prioritise data valuation for technical and business-driven content throughout the organisation. They must make it part of their business strategy by developing tools for valuation and policies and services to acquire or sell data. In order to leap ahead in this new world, companies must remain focused on honing their ability to achieve data-driven insights by predictively spotting new opportunities.

Some start-ups and traditional organisations are already making headway in this arena.  For others, it's not too late. But as the Information Economy takes shape in the years ahead, those that move too slowly will not survive.  The race is on - don't be left behind.


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