‘Big Data’ A New Concept, A New Context for Intangible Assets…

The one with the most toys (big data) wins…yes, a supercilious refrain familiar to many, perhaps a manifestation of a societal fixation on the acquisition of tangible things (toys).

The realities associated with ‘the one with most toys wins’…arguably, provides opportunities for both the toy giver and the toy receiver to reap intangible (near term) returns, i.e., happiness, memories, joy, etc.

Now, multiply those feelings and outcomes…(ala toy giver – receiver) not solely by their retail cost, rather, by the number of ‘exabytes’ of data acquired and placed within the control and ‘at will’ use, and perhaps ownership of a single organization. Now we are entering the realm of ‘big data’ as an ominous form of new intangible asset!

What is ‘big data’…it is described – defined in various ways, often with specific conditionals accordingly relevant to the source. A particular-description of ‘big data’, albeit very general, which fits best in my view, is…

  • the growth in and digitization of global information-storage capacity.
  • amassing – accessing enormous quantities of data which are characterized as a ‘data ecosystem’. (Wikipedia)

These definitions, examples, and descriptions may appear to some as being quite ominous…they are not wholly wrong. Of course, a requisite for – product of ‘big data’ lies in a business’s ability to not merely access the data at will, but mine and exploit the data in accordance with a particular need.

  • as a prelude to developing more clear and specific ‘predictive analytics’, about, for example, user-consumer behaviors and trends, one must be able to thoroughly mine that data.

Of course, this is already being achieved – practiced in various ways...by mining ‘big data’ for the purpose of unraveling – revealing heretofore undiscovered – unrecognized correlations which in turn provide levels of confidence necessary for businesses to more aggressively pursue sector specific initiatives, R&D, and/or trends.

It does not appear that mining ‘big data’, at least in its current context and using conventional methodologies...will necessarily constitute a panacea for mitigating any woes of product-service development and marketing.

In part, that’s because some sectors of…business, science, and R&D, etc.,  may experience some limitations as the specificity and complexity of the information – data being sought undoubtedly becomes more sophisticated and costly to access, mine, extract, and use efficiently, confidently, and in a timely manner to make competitive differences!

One example of this is…conventional database management systems and data visualization packages will likely be overwhelmed…requiring substantial upgrades along with parallel software running on heretofore unprecedented numbers of servers to handle ‘big data’.

Of course, framing only what’s absolutely necessary…in terms of data to be mined-explored, is one, of numerous conundrums for business leadership to achieve clarity. Along with how the issues – questions about who and/or what should actually-own, control, be permitted access to, use, and interpret what will be gleaned from big-data undertakings.

This is especially relevant to companies, whose actions and initiatives toward ‘big data’ will…in-all-likelihood, have enterprise-wide impact. How these questions-issues will be framed and resolved becomes all-the-more important in light of the world’s technological per-capita capacity to store information and data has roughly doubled every 40 months since the 1980’s.

And, as of 2012, 2.5 exabytes of data are generated daily…this is caused, in large part, by data – information being increasingly subject to collection by numerous (relatively inexpensive) information-sensing and mining systems and devices, i.e., mobile, aerial, remote sensing, software logs, RFID readers (radio frequency identification) and other forms of wireless sensor networks.

Big data, the newest intangible asset…for these, and other reasons, it may be prudent to start thinking – characterizing this presumably irreversible ‘big data’ phenomenon in the context of merely a new venture!

Interestingly, what counts as ‘big data’ is variously dependent on…user expansion and effective utilization of capabilities and tools to achieve lucrative competitive advantages. Collectively, according to some experts, having this capability – building this capacity to influence ‘big data’ to become very large and very attractive targets for adverse acts, particularly intrusion by economic and competitive advantage adversaries and ‘legacy free players’ who already recognize it as an entrée into this new and very intangible arena.

…the person who elects not to read has little or no advantage over the person who cannot read! (Variously attributed to Samuel Clemens, adapted by Michael D. Moberly)

Michael D. Moberly September 8, 2017 [email protected]  St. Louis, the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ where one’s attention span, businesses intangible assets, and solutions converge’!

Readers are invited to explore other published blog posts, video, books, and position papers at https://kpstrat.com/blog


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