Intro – Thinking about data and oil

Saying “Data is the new oil” is fashionable, accurate and easy.  What’s less obvious, and far more revealing, are the differences between data and oil.

Daniel Yergin wrote one of the definitive histories of oil in “The Prize”.  Starting with the discovery of oil, 51PWhd28jvL._AC_US436_QL65_and continuing through modern times, the book is a fascinating explanation of how one asset transformed our world.  So to better understand data’s implications I used his book to study oil.

But while oil and data have great parallels as I read the book I found key differences between oil and data.  In this three part blog I’ll explore 3 items to consider as we formulate our data strategies.  The key elements to consider are:

  • Oil is found but data is created
  • Oil’s value chain is linear but data is diverse
  • Oil is single use but data is multiuser and potentially forever

Along the way we’ll explore how oil and data are similar but I firmly believe its through exploring the differences that organizations will find competitive advantages.  So lets get started… over the next few days I’ll explore each of these points in detail.  Check back soon…

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