Big Data : The New Oil or Nuclear Waste?

Data leaking is like nuclear waste leaking. Once we believed that big data would drive new industries by monitoring data freely. Now we see its a bit more complicated.

We have been told that big data usage will differentiate successful businesses from failures.  That is probably true, but not only as “the new oil” driving innovation.  Perhaps data is more like nuclear waste, it costs a fortune to store and when it leaks…..?

Big data can drive new businesses, if used carefully
Fuel is required in any economy

The new oil arguments for using big data are well known: increasing customer satisfaction, squeezing out costs and developing new business models. There are countless examples worldwide, in many segments of big data being a real success. Many consultants and equipment providers will happily explain how big data can benefit any organisation.

The flip side of big data, the nuclear waste analogy is less well publicised. If data leaks it can damage an organisation, perhaps fatally. Think of TalkTalk or Equifax as well known examples. Less well known is that half of Irish firms who responded to a survey by The Irish Computer Society (ICS) have experienced a data breach in the last 12 months. Information on how much a data breach costs is hard to find, but 7 digit sums are common for large companies. In May 2018 Europe’s GDPR regulation will introduced fines of up to 20 million euro or 4% of the undertaking’s total worldwide annual turnover. It is incontrovertible that data breaches can damage any organisation.

Given that 70% of a typical organisation’s data is unusable should all data be considered equally valuable? At DigiTorc we think not.  The key to profitable growth from data is understanding what data to retain, and then how to keep it safe.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us

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