Driving the Evolution of the Data Economy

Posted by Gabriel O'Brien | 18-Jul-2022 14:08:33

More than ever, the spotlight is on organisations and how they acquire, use and leverage their data. From banking to retail to sports, maximising the value of data is a fundamental tenet of business strategies and operating models. In fact, a recent National Bureau of Economic Research study suggested that digital capital, such as data, makes up 25% of a firm’s value on average. 

So what are the secrets to unlocking the value of data? Nimbus Ninety, in partnership with Oracle, brought together technology and data experts to connect, share challenges and opportunities and offer up actionable insights from data-driven businesses.


The discussion began with a presentation from Mike Connaughton, VP Analytics and Data Innovation EMEA at Oracle. Mike presented four key principles for maximising the value of data:

  1. Data Liquidity - ease of data reuse and recombination
  2. Data Productivity - value created as a result of data usage per unit of work, dollar invested or resource consumed
  3. Data Security - protections against external and internal threats
  4. Data Governance - Assurances of data quality, compliance, ethics

In particular, Mike highlighted, through an example within the NHS, how data liquidity, getting the most useful insights to decision makers at the right time, can drive value. In the example, addressing data liquidity provided in depth insights and visibility of trends that, subsequently, led to massive savings. However, limits to liquidity might be cost, data onboarding processes and ease of data reuse and recombination; multi cloud capabilities have been useful here.


Following Mikes’ presentation, members joined a roundtable discussion. The key takeaways from the discussion were:

  • Buying vs Creating Data

As a start, one member highlighted how utilising external data, which has been purchased, gives a notional value of data; i.e. x amount of dollars. In contrast, internal data, created within the organisation, does not have a go-to-market value. Importantly, this distinction impacts on, for example, data productivity, external data will likely cost more per unit, governance, internal data may have different compliance requirements than external data and, ultimately, the value of data.

  • Data governance linked to objectives

Data governance is crucial for ensuring data is usable, accessible and protected. However, some members highlighted instances where data governance is limiting the ability to maximise value from data. For instance, one member was currently overcoming the governance challenge of customer data cross-pollinated from different legal entities across the organisations. Their particular focus was on who owns the data and how to ingest the data legally. Members emphasised that establishing a clear data governance strategy that is developed with data analytics in mind and linked to business objectives is a fundamental step to maximising value from data.

  • How do you reach advanced data maturity?

As part of the discussion, members also took part in a number of poll questions. The first question highlighted that 60% of members felt that “data is largely locked in silos and inaccessible to the wider business”. Meanwhile, when asked how mature their data strategy was, 80% of members chose “intermediate” and, significantly, none chose advanced. When exploring these results, members said to achieve data maturity they need to remove the barriers between data engineers and scientists; helping address scale and complexity problems.

  • Creating ‘data citizens’

Addressing culture around data also emerged as a significant takeaway for members. For instance, one member mentioned that silos and obstructions have been created by having dataset owners. Other members highlighted that, despite some progress, they are still having to fly the flag for data by frequently communicating the value and importance of data. One interesting approach, that a member highlighted, is to address organisation-wide data literacy and create an organisation full of ‘data citizens’.


This event was held in partnership with Oracle.

Topics: Event reports

Written by Gabriel O'Brien

Gabriel works with the Editorial team to seek out the disruptors who are leading the change in their industry. He explores the emerging trends in the business and tech world, and creates content for our community of disruptive leaders.

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