Why are data considered the new oil?

While the oil is scarce, finite, the data is not.

The phrase "Data is the new oil", in free translation to the original "data is the new oil", was created by Clive Humby, a London mathematician specializing in data science. This expression has been widely cited in the market and, executives from around the world, use it to defend the idea that the data is as valuable as oil – which points out that, in theory, those who know how to make good use of them and take full advantage of their potential , you have to win.

But Humby's original phrase does not go there: "Data is the new oil. It's valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used (…) So must data be broken down, analyzed for it to have value. " Basically, in this statement, the scientist argues that, just as oil needs to be refined, data needs to be analysed. There enters the entire universe of Business Intelligence, where, in full Age of Analytical Economics, professionals and companies need increasingly to be literate in data and speak in fact to this language, so as to be able to use them in their maximum potential.

Following This reasoning, it is safe to affirm that the greatest richness is not in the data itself, but rather on the ability to use them in an analytical way. The intelligence behind them is who determines their greatest value because, from it, will be extracted the discoveries capable of transforming the reality not only of organizations, but from different markets and, why not, from the world? 

In This search for refining data and finding the answers we seek, an important detail must be remembered: several times, the answer of what we seek is in the analysis of the data that we would eventually discard – so it is necessary to use Intelligent Business Intelligence Systems that analyze the data set and assertively point out the best insights.

Unlike oil, in which one of the biggest challenges is locating underground reserves where we can find it, the key point in the world of data is another. Locating them is no longer a problem, bearing in mind that today they are at our disposal. Now, the biggest challenge is knowing how to make good use of this source of inexhaustible possibilities.

Another Point is that while the oil is scarce, finite, the data are not. Least of All, your possibilities. In view of the volume, speed and variety of Big Data itself, our source of resources to create insights with data is inexhaustible and goes far beyond what the world today has the capacity to support.

To conclude, I venture to say that data is not the new oil: they are even more valuable. But as many countries have enriched with the fuel of the century, they will only enrich with data those who know how to use them in the best way… Also as fuel, but this time, for the future.

César Ripari — Qlik's Pre-Sales Director




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