The creation of Good Data was very much influenced by Tim O’Reilly’s post “What Would Google Do?” published back in May 2007. The following idea still defines my vision for Good Data and the need for collaborative BI:
If Google or Amazon were your bank or credit card, they’d let you know which merchants had the best prices for the same products, so you’d be a smarter shopper next time. They’d let merchants know what products were popular with people who also bought related products. They’d help merchants stock the right products by zip code. They’d let you know when you were spending more on dining out than you have set in your family budget. They’d let you know when you were approaching your credit limit, with a real-time fuel gauge, not just a “Sorry, your card has been declined.”
The notion that companies will share data and analytics beyond their firewalls and this shared knowledge will help them to build better businesses might have interesting implications:
Historically companies needed to buy other companies to be able to share knowledge and management processes and this was the only way how to increase their value. But if you read a post called A Lost Decade – But Not For Everyone written by Fred Wilson, you will realize that companies that tried to be present in every market and own every possible aspect of their business landscape delivered no (or negative) return to their investors over the last ten years. Fred calls this “the end of the industrial era and the emergence of the information era”. And Jeff Jarvis explores the trend even more in his recent Guardian column:
In a sense, Google itself is built on a derivative: its data on data. Like the derivatives that got us into this mess, Google’s are based on creating abundance. But unlike those corrupted financial products, Google’s metaknowledge creates new and real value.
In Google’s economy, small is the new big. Of course, big is still big — Google itself is gargantuan. But it doesn’t grow by borrowing capital to buy companies (likely no one will for some time to come). Instead, Google created a network for an abundance of new advertisers and a platform for countless new businesses, all independent of Google. Indeed, Google does not want to own the assets — content to commerce — upon which its empire is built.
I believe that good data is the capital of the information era and in the future everybody will have to do what Google does…