Bosch SI: How much value is there in Big Data, really?

ATN-300InsightaaS: At first blush, Bosch may seem like an unusual source for our IT-focused Across the Net items; Bosch is best known as an leading supplier of automotive parts and appliances. However, with IoT, none of these products is truly discrete from the IT network: automotive parts are integrated into “connected transportation,” while appliances play an important role in “connected home.” 

One of Bosch’s many divisions, Bosch Software Innovations, “designs, develops, and operates innovative software and system solutions that help our customers around the world both in the Internet of Things and in the traditional enterprise environment.” Bosch SI publishes an excellent ConnectedWorld blog that offers opinions from many sources on IoT-related initiatives and opportunities in smart cities, e-mobility, energy management and manufacturing. Today’s post is a contribution from Emil Berthelsen of Machina Research, looking at a fundamental question that IT and business executives need to consider as they move into Big Data-driven analytics: “What determines the value of data?” The post takes the sensible (if not revolutionary) position that “value is ultimately defined by applications.” What is noteworthy about the post, though, is a “data significance value” model that assigns data to one of six levels based on the prioirty with which the data should be treated, the impact that the data can have in related applications, and the predictability associated with the timing of the data inputs. This kind of model will be essential in the future, as IT looks for ways to align scarce resources with an ever-widening demand for data-intensive business inputs.

In this blog, Machina Research addresses the question of “does all data have the same value?” In the Internet of Things, the volume of data is set to surpass previously imagined levels, and monetising this asset is actively explored by many companies.

Does all data have the same value?

Big Data has caught the attention of many executives. Data has been compared to oil and gold, suggesting a promise of great wealth from data assets. But nowhere as finite as gold or oil, data is not a natural asset with value. Why then do many speak of the promise of wealth? And does all data have the same value?

In the Internet of Things, the volume of data is set to surpass previously imagined levels. People create, share and store increasing amounts of personal and social data; connected machines generate more and more data from operational environments; and systems interact at increasingly automated and application-led ‘intelligent’ levels, using data as fuel. Industry 4.0 is a leading example of these trends, connecting as an example, production equipment with supply chains of raw materials to ensure timely, smooth and autonomously intelligent production flows.

Data will be unique in some cases, and ‘owners’ may derive a ‘monopoly rent’ from the data. But this uniqueness will be constantly challenged by the growing number of data sources and volumes in the world of Big Data and the Internet of Things.

The value of data will relate to its significance. Demand will help shape and identify significance but ultimately ‘significance’ will be defined by how data is used and what benefits the data delivers…


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