In order to create digital value, we have to understand how data is structured and how it moves from system to system. Otherwise we can't figure out if it can or can't be monetized, and if it's ethical.
The next stage of the data supply chain is storage—recording data to a trusted location, which is both secure and easily accessible for further manipulation. Storage is often some version of the cloud, or perhaps a specific server. Sometimes it’s a flash drive or local memory on a sensor. But wherever we store data, we need to make sure that we understand how that's going to connect to other systems.
When we aggregate data, we combine disparate data sets to create a larger data set that's greater than the sum of its parts (often referred to as Big Data). This is where exponential possibilities begin, but so does exponential complexity.
Once data is collected, stored, and aggregated it’s time to analyze it. We examine data to extract information and discover new insights. We might append this analysis to the original data, and/or use it to discard extraneous data.
Disposal of data is an important consideration at the end of the data supply chain. It’s never the most exciting, and it doesn’t generate any immediate value, so it’s often overlooked. However, regulatory requirements and common decency both demand that we think through how data will be disposed of when it’s no longer useful.