Technology evolves. And the way we think about technology evolves too. This pattern is especially apparent with Data. If we had said the word Data to you ten or twenty years ago, what would have come to your mind? You would have most likely thought of a bunch of numbers printed on a sheet of paper.
The first shift in thinking in regards to Data took the form of the slogan “Data is the new oil.” This implies data is a raw resource. And refining data transforms it into an even more valuable resource. The shift revolving around data has been so massive, it boomed the data/ content economy.
Your data and your content have real, marketable worth.
Now onto today. Our understanding of data and how it functions in this new content economy is more well-rounded. These days, the name of the corporate tech giant’s game is building a foundation of tying data to human beings.
That may sound weird at first. But consider what The Economist points out:
“Google and Facebook want to find out as much as it is possible to know about their users’ interests, activities, friends and family. Amazon has a detailed history of consumer behaviour. Tencent and Alibaba are the digital wallets for hundreds of millions of Chinese… the first step towards ensuring the fairness of the new information age is to understand that it is not data that are valuable. It is you.”
Data is not as valuable when it is not contextualized to a person’s behavior. With you (your buying habits, your interests, your identity), data is the bedrock of the fastest-growing, richest industry worldwide.