Data is not the new oil

You’ve heard it many times and so have I:  “Data is the new oil”

Well it isn’t.  At least not yet.

I don’t care how I get oil for my car or heating.  I simply decide what to cook and where to drive when I want.  I’m unconcerned which mechanism is used to refine oil or how oil is transported, so long as what comes out of the pump at the garage makes my car go.  Unless you have a professional interest or bias I suspect you’re much the same.

Why can’t it be the same with data?

Well for a start, the consumer of data is often all too aware of the complexity of the supply chain and the multiple skills and technologies that it takes to get them the data they wish to consume.  Systems take forever to create and are inflexible in the wrong places.   The ability to aggregate data is over-constrained by blanket security rules that enforce sensible policies, but result in slow moving or over bureaucratic processes and systems.

Today’s cloud technologies have helped, but even here, data services are aimed at developers as the consumer of data, not the end user of it.

The consumers of the new oil would love to be ignorant of where it came from, but they are all too aware and involved in the supply chain that they try and coax to do what they want.

Even with today’s cloud technologies, data services are predominantly created for developers, not the true consumers who understand the data.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those who make business decisions could find naturally described information when they wanted?  If they could use it as they wish without regard for the underlying infrastructure?  All with the confidence that access controls and data protection measures are built in.  Enforcing governance policies within the platform builds trust and helps achieve regulatory compliance, such as GDPR.

These are characteristics of a data pipeline: services that ingest data from sources, govern, enrich, store, analyze and apply it.  How data is stored is no longer of concern.  Data is available to all without aggravation.

With their latest cloud platforms, companies like IBM are delivering platforms that do precisely this.  IBM has even published a Data Science Experience that enables a data scientist to build their own pipelines with a rich palette of ingest, machine learning and storage technologies.

We take oil for granted.  Can you say the same for the data you need to drive your business forward?

Try out the Data Science Experience on the IBM Cloud.

One thought on “Data is not the new oil

  1. Pingback: Data is the new – Boris Gorelik

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