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Traditional assets vs data assets

Let’s compare traditional assets (like buildings, computers, cash etc) with data assets.

Table comparing traditional assets and data assets as described below traditional assets vs data assets (Click to expand)

Traditional assets are physical, apply to one single purpose at a time and depreciate in value. Conversely, data assets are intangible and can be used for multiple purposes concurrently. Data assets are also additive: they can increase in value over time.

Data is not the only virtual asset a company has, brand value has long been recognised as something that can sit on the balance sheet. If you think of data as an asset similar to brand, getting data on the balance sheet seems a lot more achievable.

We started with the question:

“If data is now widely understood to be valuable, then why is it still so difficult to attach a value to it?”

If data was to be tracked on the balance sheet, it would need to have:

  • a definition of what value it has to you;

  • clear accountability with specific responsibility for maintaining its value.

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Introduction to Data for Business Leaders

The Data Lab

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