Celebrating Liberation

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We celebrate the summer holiday season of AmericanIndependence Day reflecting on all that it means to be free -- the notion of independence -- and the rights and responsibilities that run with that.  Of course, these reflections meander over to what that means in a digitial age, and linking that to our cause at C[IQ].  This led our creative folks to conjure up a clever play on the theme of American Independence Day regarding that which has become the foundation of the digital age: data.

You've heard all the metaphors and analogies by now; you know, "Data is the new oil" and "In digital commerce, content is the currency."  Honestly, we've been making this point with our clients for years.  Its real and its the new status quo.  With the continuing decline in the cost of compute power, memory, disk storage, and sensor technology the acquisition of data has never been easier.  The new conventional wisdom has it that in the digital age, if you aren't acquiring data, then you're likely losing business (or worse: brand) value.  But we don't think the key is data acquisition.

The key is knowledge management.  In other words, data acquistion is like mining crude oil.  But its the refineries that produce the finished petroleum products.  Increasingly we're witnessing companies amass gigabytes, even petabytes of data without any plan to do anything with it.  This data becomes trapped in storage -- so-called data warehouses.  We're here today to encourage the freeing of your data. 

What sparked this thought:  We're working on a client assignment that involves lots of assessment of systems and information. We're discovering that there is a bunch of data -- digital gold -- that if refined will produce more insight than we could have hoped for when we undertook the assignment.  And we're quickly seeing this occur in many businesses.  Thus, our theme this month.

So, this month we call for the liberation of your data.  Make use of it to produce information that will inform you how to optimally manage your customer or client or even constituent relationships.  It starts with assessment of what you have, where its hiding, how you acquire it, and what you might do with it.  We also encourage you to think holistically about that data.

Don't restrict your thinking to data acqusition by marketing for the sake of marketing.  For example, consider how data acqusition in customer service can better inform product development.  And ideate on how you can turn data acquisition into knowledge management as easy and quickly as possible. 

Crude oil has an inherent value; markets are made over its presence.  But finished products are what drive an economy beyond the traders' desks.  We muse over the day when companies valuation is tied to its ability to not simply acquire data, but convert knowledge.  And we bet it will be easier to measure than goodwill.

Happy Independence Day and vacation time this month for all who realize how important it is to take a pause.

PS: To those of you who read down to this point, and still might have let your mind wander to the unfortunate but real issues of the day with regard to government data mining for national security sake... that issue was not and is not on our mind as we developed this theme or our splash page.  To that situation we simply say, data mining must be done in an apolitical responsible manner that adheres to our democratic values represented by celebrations of the 4th of July.

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Gregory Miller, CTO

Greg has been in the tech sector as a software architect and engineer, product manager, marketing and biz dev exec., and even IP and privacy lawyer for 3 decades. He is currently on the Board of a non-profit tech foundation reinventing America's election technology, is a venture adviser in the Silicon Valley, and serves as the CTO for C[IQ] Strategies, Inc.