The value of data – A Facebook case study

Published on April 20, 2018 by Damon Rasheed

As consumers we can reasonably observe or guess the value of our “data” as we go about our internet life — eg social media, news, videos on YouTube, shopping on eBay, leaving digital trails and monetised in various ways, eg advertising eyeballs, aggregated advertising profiles, etc. There is a browser extension that allows you to see how much money facebook earns from your usage, in real time. https://fdvt.org/. The imagine below shows this tool after just a few minutes of browsing on Facebook. As you can see, the value of data to Facebook quickly increases.

Facebook’s valuation went down because:

1. monetisation opportunities will go down due to user sensitivity to privacy and users demanding transparency.
2. facebook closing down functionality and abuse,
3. regulation.

The value of facebook business model was discounted by 20% in the past week shows how the value of data is very sensitive to privacy protections and product decisions.

Takeaway 1 – data transparency

The Facebook data scandal increases the value of a business’s first party data. Third party data and capabilities from advertising networks and social media may become increasingly locked down, so business will need to

1. account for that (has the value of their data changed?) and
2.invest and leverage first party customer relationship data, which is often richer, more accurate and actionable compared to data from social media channels.

It serves as a reminder that the valuation of data has value implications not just for the big brands or elite tech companies but any company. But what about as executives and decision makers in a business? shouldn’t they have access to a similar dashboard? Shouldn’t they be demanding transparency with the value of data in the business?

For end users, the outrage is that they want the online business to be transparent.For businesses, the outrage is that the value of data to the business should be transparent and well known to all (it is proprietary) and just like to top line profit, cost, and revenue figures, it should guide and inform operational, strategic and corporate financing decisions.

While tools such as https://fdvt.org/ exist for the elite (such as Facebook), suppose businesses had a live tool or counter that would know not just the value of a customer’s data but all the strategic and operation data assets of the firm, historically and in real time?

Takeaway 2 – real time data valuation is possible

We are working towards realising this state, where executives, CFOs, CEOs, decision makers, and business owners are informed about the total enterprise data value and of their business units. Our methodology is to analyse how companies collect, store, use, leverage and audit their data assets.

contact us if you are interested in having your data valued!