Data v. People – A Question of Value

Human V Data - Discuss

This is a question I have always wanted to pose to a room of decision making people and other influencers.

  • “which out of the two is your most valuable asset, your data or your people?”

And I suspect the results will be different depending on scenarios including whether the audience is:

  • In the same room with everyone giving a show of hands
  • In the same room with everyone using a personal electronic means to vote
  • Everyone located in their own time and space but connected virtually
  • Influenced by geography and culture (to what extent)

Doing research for this blog, some references I came across to link the two, data and people, seem to be centered around the value of data to people. For example, in a July 8, 2015 publication by Verena Ehrnberger in Culture & Society, Science & Technology Data Vs. Humans , argument focused on the value of data to human in the sense that data helps humans get on with the what rather than the why. It can be argued though that once we know what, we immediately want to know why. As media reports an unsavory event for example, we react by wanting to know why it happened.

Another report in 2016 by Pedro Arellano talks about making decisions with data. Again, as with the previous, the value of data to people for better analysis and potentially better decision making.

However, suppose as a decision maker, you have to choose or decide between your people and data? For example, to invest in either or both of the two:

  1. Extra security and protection of,
  2. Accessibility and availability of data and people and to who or what,
  3. Valuation in monetary terms,
  4. Where does my dollar value go as a priority?
  5. What aspect of the business should be invested in first?

How do we see or value our data? Is it an asset? We meet people and collect business cards, exchange information. What does it mean? How can it all grow to become a mutually beneficial relationship?

  • Data
  • Human
  • Data and Human