Today I was invited to speak at a Wärtsilä “Transformation Talks” session, giving a keynote and sitting on a discussion panel.
The overall theme was “Smart Tech Mindset”, and I was talking on one of my recurring bugbears: “Why Data is the new Oil”. The audience seemed very happy with my reasoning (I even raised a few laughs …). For the record:
- For most of recorded history it was seen as completely worthless
- It’s really messy and gums up everything it comes into contact with
- It’s amazingly toxic and if it leaks it could ruin your company’s reputation and balance sheet
- It is definitely not cheap and easy to make use of, there are entire industries grown up around refining it into something useful
- But yes, ok, I suppose if you can get past items 1-4, there is some value in it.
But for my money, Data is not the new Oil, it is the new Toil – we will all find ourselves toiling away in an industry and economy built around making use of data, and it won’t be easy, but that’s where the value is …
Lucky I enjoy mucking around in messy piles of data, really!