Recently I learned about a start-up company, willing to give you a cell phone in exchange for access to your online data (personal data excluded).
The start-up in its testing phase was giving out 1000 phones per week — apparently many considered this to be a great value. This company is THRILLED to give you a phone because this exchange shows the value in your searches and preferences — there is an undeniable value to your data.
Now imagine, how valuable your company data would be?
A history of buying, selling, company contacts — profitable, transaction trends. Information on all your key vendors, your purchase agreements, your marketing returns by advertising initiative.
Most executives I know will quickly state that their company data is a high-value priority — but are we doing what we need to do to protect that investment? There are companies who only exist to try and monetize the value of your data.
Are you valuing your company data? Here are 3 things to consider when assessing that question.
- Is your company data secure? According to an Inc. article by Adam Levine, 73% of companies polled by an insurance company in 2017 said they are not prepared for a cyberattack. Hiscox found that companies with fewer than 250 employees were spending 9.8% of their IT budgets on security, vs 12.2% for larger firms. The average cost of a cyberattack from the 4,100 companies responding to this poll was $229,000! A quick search on the firms who have publicly been exposed as being victims of cyberattacks include Canadian and US government departments, and large retailers like Walmart. Have I convinced you yet that perhaps you need to relook at your data security? I hope so. If you aren’t, then I suspect it’s because your organization doesn’t yet truly understand the value of its data — but others do and they will find ways to access your data, fool your employees to give their passwords and find security loopholes in your system.
- Are you leveraging your data to understand your business trends and threats? Business reports and building new reports has been the way many companies access their data. In the past 10 years, business intelligence has become a widespread, affordable yet underutilized way to access data. Your company is in motion, in real time, yet most executives and department managers are running reports for their data, then recompiling in a different system like a spreadsheet. Most successful companies understand what the key metrics needed are in order to prosper, but then build time-consuming processes to see those metrics to overcome difficulties in accessing, combining data sources and making data presentable. Business intelligence systems can offer you a next-day look at all those metrics — presenting the President their 3 metrics as an example in a red light, yellow light and green light format — and detail can be provided with one click. Imagine building a real-time graphic based on yesterday’s data by typing the following: lost sales and margin by product type due to backorders for the past week. Are you accessing your data? Is it impacting your decisions today? If not, do you value your data?
- Are you examining Big Data/AI options to transform how your business operates? Most people hear the words ‘big data’ and they assume ‘big business only’. Your data is valuable, and companies are offering services and tools to help companies of every size transform their business. Here is a concept for you: imagine you are a national insurance company, and a hurricane went through a coastal community yesterday. What if you could combine the data of your customers, their addresses and their policies and then layer that data over top of satellite images? Imagine an insurance company calling you to set up an appointment to assess the damage, and they get to make decisions about the number of adjusters required to meet the need, proactively? This would change their business. What if you were a regional HVAC company with multiple offices and you could predict service calls based on power outages or weather patterns? You could make better use of your company resources and be ahead of the demand by combining your company data with other databases, like weather patterns, by postal code/zip. How valuable is your data now?
73% of companies aren’t ready for a cyber attack. When you leave the office today, will you lock the front door? If so, is it time to rethink how you protect your data? Have questions? We can help.