If we look back at 18th Century, Oil was considered as cog in the wheel of the industrial revolution. Oil was and still is one of the most valuable asset we possess. Oil became the life line for the industrial revolution and brought about phenomenal changes in the right direction. Data is doing the same in the 21st Century.
The Term “Data is the new Oil” was coined by Clive Humby, a British Mathematician and entrepreneur, in 2006. He stated that data is as valuable as oil, but only once it is refined or else holds no value. Same way when oil is extracted from soil, after refinement gets converted in to gas, plastics, and chemicals etc., to make it useful for our day to day needs. In a similar context, data too needs to be refined in order to make it more useful. The RAW data is as useless as garbage until it is processed in a tangible manner. This answers the question well, as to why parallels are drawn between data and oil.
As in the past decades, oil was responsible for economic growth, same what data is doing in the 21st century. Data refinement of old as well as new data helps us to understand the various trends i.e. human behaviour, weather behaviour etc. Data can help us in analysing different patterns and spot key trends which will impact us in the future.
For example, if we look at rain fall data analysis, it was found that after every 3 years, in the 4th year India faces rain shortfall in particular state or district. Thus, if we rationalise this information, we can look at growing crops which require less water intake every 4th year. This small piece of information will go a long way in creating significant economic value for the country.
In the 21st Century, data can be considered as subset of Information revolution. Data has assumed the role of raw material which must be analysed, processed and fetched carefully so that it can generate useful information for its users. Use of data in today’s world, is immense. Every sector be it Information Technology, Healthcare, or retail, use and have immense amount of data which is processed day in and day out. The same piece of information is used towards crafting of unique product and services in their respective domains.
World today is at the centre of one of the biggest pandemic of this decade and scientists around the world are working to find a vaccine to curb its spread. Data again is playing an integral role in terms of understanding the growth and spread of the virus, across different regions around the world. One of the data trends pointed out the fact that the person who is already got infected and recovered from Covid-19, using his/her blood plasma can help in recovery of others from the impact of the virus. All this was made possible on the basis of data and the quantum of research that went into it.
Organizations are collecting Data from their customers in every way directly or indirectly. Data is at the heart of many new wave organizations. Successful companies i.e. like Google, Uber, Ola, and Paytm etc can primarily be called data companies. Data today is predominantly helping us to live life in a more structured manner and is also fuelling ahead economies in every sector of the world. We live in the times of data explosion, channelizing the same will help us shape our future better.
Sr. Faculty / General Manager
GP Education Management Corporation