Data is Not the New Oil

I have argued before and linked to articles suggesting that advertising is less useful than is commonly thought and that targeted advertising is largely ineffective. Here is another article I found interesting, titled “Why Data Is Not the New Oil“.

The article nicely confirms what I thought before. Don’t we all like that?

I knew it!
From J. Burello at

It explains that data is very different from oil from an economic perspective. Most of the facts it highlights are somewhat self-evident. “You can use oil only once, but data multiple times” – that’s right, Captain Obvious! In that regard I would have liked the article to be more elaborate on the actual consequences of the facts they mention. But some points are indeed interesting, such as this one:

– “General information about a person, such as their age, gender and location is worth a mere $0.0005 per person, or $0.50 per 1,000 people.”

– “A person who is shopping for a car, a financial product or a vacation is more valuable to companies eager to pitch those goods. Auto buyers, for instance, are worth about $0.0021 a pop, or $2.11 per 1,000 people.”

– “Knowing that a woman is expecting a baby and is in her second trimester of pregnancy, for instance, sends the price tag for that information about her to $0.11.”

– “For $0.26 per person, buyers can access lists of people with specific health conditions or taking certain prescriptions.”

– “The company estimates that the value of a relatively high Klout score adds up to more than $3 in word-of-mouth marketing value.”

– “[T]he sum total for most individuals often is less than a dollar.

These numbers come from a pay-walled article from the Financial Times.

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