“Your Data Has No Value.” Except in One Very Specific Way.


To be honest, I’d never thought about it quite so bluntly.

“Your data has no value.”

But once it was laid out in front of me, as it was this past week, I saw how very true that statement is.

Your data indeed has no value… unless it’s “consumed.”

Let me explain.

This week we were asked to do a “data audit.” A wine business laid out for us all of the raw data and all of the reports that they either buy or generate, and asked us to determine which are actually helpful and which are, frankly, a waste of money.

Here’s the short answer: None were helpful, and all were a waste of money. In other words, their “data” has no value, despite its significant price tag.

Why does all of this data have no value?

Because it isn’t being consumed.

“Consuming” data means that it isn’t being seen or understood, or interpreted or synthesized. However you want to say it, the data isn’t being put to use for the benefit of the company that’s paid good money for it.

Yet they keep buying it, maybe out of force of habit or maybe in hopes that someone somewhere will make sense of it.


The data itself has value, but only if it’s consumed. And data can only be consumed if it’s communicated in an effective way.

This was brought home in a resounding way earlier this week during a presentation in Atlanta, where we live, by a data scientist storyteller named Dalton Ruer.

“Data is only as valuable as your staff’s ability to consume it,” he said, which leads to taking action, which leads to “getting those zeroes and ones out of the expense column.”

In other words, organizations who actually consume data don’t waste their own money.

We think there’s a better rationale for investing in data than “we buy it because we’ve always bought it” or “one day we’ll be able to make sense of it.”

From our perspective, we’re thrilled to work with a business that has years’ worth of data, because it gives us the long view of things like trends over time.

But what matters the most, at the end of the day, is that we can help you consume your own data. Which means that your data will have value. It already does have value, in fact. We’re here to help you see it, finally.

Does this make sense?

We’d love to show you some de-identified examples of what we’ve done so far, to illustrate what we mean. Please be in touch about scheduling that conversation.

Thank you, as always, for reading –