The Rise of Data as an Actively Traded Commodity

This article explains the value of data and how it is increasingly becoming a valuable commodity.

The Rise of Data as an Actively Traded Commodity

The Rise of Data as an Actively Traded Commodity

Twenty years ago, the only data accessible to the common man was the Yellow Pages. There were phone numbers to landlines, last names, and if someone was well off, probably their mobile number. 

In sharp contrast, today, data is being traded as one of the most active commodities worldwide. From tech giants using data to create artificial intelligence to small businesses using data to remarket their products, data has played a vital role in societal and technological development in the last two decades.

Data science, or simply the collection and study of data, has become a dynamic field of research and has grown exponentially in the last few years. Data in itself has expanded from simple data like name, address, and phone numbers to complex information such as purchasing power, purchase patterns, income bracket, age groups, demographics, and geospatial information.

Powerful technology such as satellites and radars are used to continually monitor and collect data globally by remote sensing and analysis.

While this data is mostly used for research purposes, it is increasingly gaining commercial value and being accepted as a commodity. Today, it comes as no surprise that some of the most powerful organisations in the world are powerful because of the value of the data they hold. 

Previously, satellites were launched and data collected for study and the military. There was no other use that could be imagined for data at that scale and volume. Now, with increased requirement and scaling of businesses, commercial satellites have been launched into space for the collection of data and analysis of imagery so created. 

A consistent supply of updated data is what the current economy is built on. Data that is old and irrelevant is redundant in today's world, and here, satellites and powerful GIS technology have resulted in relevant, up-to-date, and new data that is helpful in making strategic decisions and planning ahead.

The accessibility of data and its comprehension can be credited to the rise of the digital age and the rapid digitisation of the economy. Now, data is not only readily available; it is also very easily understood by people from all walks of life.

Earth observation and data collection have become an essential part of the digital era. It has been one of the rungs of the ladder we are climbing on to reach a world that is genuinely digitised, integrated, and one. 

The data collected is improving by the day with the advancement of technology, such as more powerful satellites, and sensors. Growth is being witnessed and there is still room for more. Data has proven to be a powerful means to reach goals and is now accepted as a commodity.

No matter what the field- UVAs, Earth Observation, BIM, aviation, drones, or satellites- all of them are data driven.

The need to have access to large amounts of data at all times is also being eliminated with the improvement in data storage and availability, . Cloud storage, big data, artificial intelligence, all are being used to work in an integrated manner to get the most utility out of minimum data requirements. 

The processing of data and the automation of this processing is a crucial field, and the progress being seen there can help improve comprehension and analysis of large amounts of data easy. 

Policies are being formulated by the day to create a sustainable and comprehensive framework to regulate, control, and expand data collection and sharing. But with the rise of new technology and innovation- our policies and frameworks take time to grow.

In the coming days, we can expect the data boom to shoot higher, maybe even for the satellites that we have sent in the constellation!