UK National Data Strategy | Treating Data As A Strategic Asset

The UK’s National Data Strategy has been published for public consultation. We welcome it, especially its endorsement of treating data as a strategic asset. We believe in the power of data-driven decisions to make people’s lives better, be they customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, local communities or future generations. That’s why our purpose is to enable organisations to get the best return from their data assets.

In our experience, one of the largest barriers is the lack of agreed ways to value data. Many dismiss valuation as an exercise in monetary quantification. It’s not. Money is the way our world trades, incentivises action and signals importance and significance, as Caesar did. The point of valuing data, in a robust and accepted way, is to trigger changes that see data treated as a valuable strategic asset.

Data valuation is essential for data sharing too. Not just an incentive, but as a measure of fair exchange. It’s costly to produce, manage, prepare and maintain data in good condition for sharing. Seeing and treating data as an asset, with a clear, robust valuation is an enabler to data sharing. And not just for those that can afford to pay the most, but from the perspective of a fair exchange of value – especially the kind of value that comes from sharing and combining data.

Please don’t read this and think mention of ‘monetary’ means pure commercial transactions without an ethical, societal or environmental return. Our experience is the opposite. Money is a language people are experienced in using to discuss fair exchange and investments.

We believe in the power of data to deliver better outcomes for all. We’ve seen it in action first-hand. We just need to create the incentives that mean enterprises will build the foundations and skills described in the National Data Strategy to unlock them.