Data, a key component the company’s intangible assets

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Prior to the “big data”, predominant in an information society, a knowledge economy, where a real “war of knowledge” reigns, the control of its data and those of its environment is essential to last and generate profits.


1) Security: protection, integrity, quality.

Spontaneously, we think theft, malicious alteration. And also poor quality during acquisition, processing and storage. And in use?
Security (of data) is normally one of the components of an internal control system. The development and implementation of such a system is the responsibility of the General Management. It is the responsibility (and interest) of the Board of Directors / Supervisory Board (BoD/SB) to ensure the existence, effectiveness and efficiency of this system. The Risk Committee, if it exists, has a key role to play in this area.

A risk mapping often includes “durability of the information system (IS)”, “intrusion into the IS”. More rarely “breach of data integrity / confidentiality”: this is probably due to the sector of activity, international exposure and the maturity of the system itself. Almost all maps identify the (e)reputation that can be equated with the circulation of erroneous and/or misleading information (and therefore data) about the company. In those I have seen, “data exploitation” is rarely listed.
Since data is the basis for decision support information, no company has the means to base its decisions on wrong information when it has the opportunity to influence data quality.

Concerning data, what should a member of the Bod/SB pay attention to? For example, the identification of “sensitive” data for the company and the existence – relevance – efficiency of protection measures (physical and remote access, training, compliance tests, etc.). Has each board member signed a confidentiality agreement? This is inherent in the mandate…. A signature is much more engaging; even more so when it is renewed every year. What about employees who have access to sensitive data? What about exchanges with their loved ones? The list of vulnerabilities as well as measures is long. It is up to
the members of the Board of Directors to ensure that the map is drawn up and that the measures are implemented.

2) Valuation: full use.

What data is this about?
Those from management information systems (HR accounting, production, CRM, etc.). Dashboard data: turnover, margin, market penetration, staff turnover, respect of customer deadlines, cash flow, price of a strategic raw material, etc.

Those from contact forms, customer surveys (often), employee surveys (sometimes), suppliers/partners (rarely). The data, pre-identified as important (as information quality), has been structured and can be analyzed. They correspond to the company’s modeling of its ecosystem. Is it good… in the long term?
What if the company (executives and directors) went further in reading, or even changing the grid? Starting by taking advantage of unstructured data. Comments in surveys and forms (these infernal are as because each one puts one’s words in one’s repository). Exchanges on social networks (whether the company is present, active or not, its name, its brand are mentioned. See (e)-reputation).

A mine to explore and exploit then appeared. By bringing together, crossing and deciphering the words and expressions of its ecosystem, the company can bring nuances to the figures. Reading differently, it can better understand its environment. It can enrich its stakeholder mapping, a key element in a rapidly changing environment. It may also see its risks evolve.
Useful, even essential, to adjust its strategy and pursue its goal.
Valuable to ensure that the company’s vision, culture and values are perceived as expected. And if not,to adapt quickly.
Precious to meet its current target, to see a target and needs emerge and be inside, better in front of it.

Source of innovation? Trend observatory?
We find the couple durability and development of the company. The digital world is everywhere: it is better to benefit from it.

Data as assets: definitely a subject for the board of directors / supervisory board.

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