Data is a key commodity in the business world and its value and importance is growing ever more as we start the new decade.

Almost everything we do in life day-to-day is tracked digitally in today’s world through apps on Smartphones and the internet, so the data is flowing and abundant, and far more readily available.

According to The Economist, the ‘world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil but data’ and it is the oil of the digital era. while in another article, the publication says its value continues to grow and ‘data is giving rise to a new economy’.

Both oil and data The Economist says, extract value with data giving value through patterns, predictions and other insights, which is invaluable to help make business decisions, while both almost create a kind of refinery.

Data is a value asset for companies and data monetization via online and offline revenue streams will be at the centre of many new business models.

Companies will look to optimise the value it brings to reach untapped customer segments, create new markets and opportunities and to open up more revenue streams.

You only have to look at the success of the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google, who store and accrue so much data from consumers and it is behind so much of their ever-growing annual profits.

The data they gather, is collated and analysed to inform and help make better informed decisions across all aspects of the supply chain.

However, despite the growing importance of data, a study by the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative has found the majority of senior management members still have ‘little awareness’ of the impact that poor data quality has on decision-making.

Data quality is critical in making sure that supply chains function at the most efficient and optimised level but to be successful, it has to be real-time and current to make a difference.

Aside from business, data is also enhancing the world we live in, such as helping to make life-saving advances via machine learning systems to improve treatment given to healthcare patients or helping us improve air quality.

The value and importance of data is clear and investments in platforms and technology will be a growing trend in 2020 as companies seek benefit and tap into the power of data.