Chris McCann, president, 1-800-Flowers.com, called data the world's next natural resource during his keynote presentation at OMMA DDM this morning.
"If you look at it, you can say that data is the world's next natural resource. Some people...will have more than others, some places or business are better at mining that resource, and the winners will be those who utilize this resource to create competitive advantage. Simple as that," he told the audience.
That's an interesting analogy. Maybe as a flowers guy he's used to thinking of things from an agricultural standpoint.
But in all seriousness, it's a solid connection. Natural resources are typically thought of as scarce, and even though data is "big" - sometimes even too big - it is still cherished. Plus, when you boil it down, some of the most important data is time sensitive, which limits its use despite an ever-growing heap of the stuff.
More and more, today's advertisers are being asked to perform in real-time. Perhaps that pressure causes advertisers to fumble data, but isn't that what the algorithms are for? And yet, the algorithms don't always get it right, which brings up McCann's point of some people being better at mining data than others. Just like natural resources, those who have have it figured out won't be too keen to let others tap into their proverbial well.
So what happens to data that isn't used in time?
Its usefulness evaporates.