Data and Value

Topics: HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser


The value of data is a function of the combination of specificity and relevance

The value of data is a function of the combination of specificity and relevance.

  • Measurement requires something to measure and something to measure with.
  • Measurements exist on a scale from qualitative (observations) to quantitative (measurements).
  • Primary data is an attribute of a person, place, thing or process.
  • Secondary data is an attribute of other data. It is also called metadata.
  • Metadata has all of the characteristics of data.
  • A piece of data is one measurement or observation.
  • Data is a record of measurement and/or observation.
  • There is no data in the absence of measurement or observation.
  • Data is created at the intersection of the thing and the measurement.
  • Data is a product of the relationship required to generate it.
  • Data is separate from the relationship required to develop it.
  • Every bit of data emerges with its own data. This includes spatial orientation and some attributes of its ‘parents’.
  • By itself, data does not explain anything. It can not tell you why.

The Value of Data

  • The value of data depends on its audience.
  • Data depreciates. Usually rapidly.
  • Data never completely depreciates. (But its value can get pretty theoretical)
  • The value of data is not inherently related to the thing that was measured (though it may be).
  • Data is the fundamental building block of information, knowledge, insight and wisdom
  • Data increases in value when combined with other data. This is usually more than additive.
  • Each added bit of data is more valuable than the last. Until it isn’t.
  • Old data can have its value renewed through association with other data.
  • One piece of data is a characteristic. Two pieces of data may become insight.
  • The value of a piece of data increases when it is a part of a pattern.
  • The value of data is a function of the combination of specificity and relevance.
  • The value of a bit of data my be entirely a function of its metadata.
  • Metadata has value independent of its underlying data
  • The value of some data is increased by hiding it or making it inaccessible.

On Value

  • There is no property, there is only data.
  • All you legally own is a description of what you own
  • Everything that happens can be understood as the manipulation of data.
  • Ownership and money are indistinguishable.
  • Ownership is a legal fiction described with data. It is so useful that it seems like a fact.
  • Ownership is a fiction designed to preserve value.
  • Value can not be owned.
  • Value is an agreement.
  • Value is a creation.

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