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What is “datafication”?

Datafication: Defined, explained, explored

Whether you love them or hate them, business buzzwords highlight trends, and enable business leaders to use the zeitgeist of the times to strategize around business value ads; from product modification opportunities, to cutting op-ex expenditures, to technological adoption.

 In 2022, new and popular terms in the tech and security space have included the metaverse, tailgating and Web3. Other terms are seeing a resurgence, including the word “datafication.”

What is “datafication”? Discover how businesses are ‘datify-ing’ activities, thriving in a data-driven world, and planning for a datafication-focused future.

What is datafication?

The term “Datafication” first entered the American lexicon in 2013. Datafication refers to the notion of translating human activities into data, which is subsequently repackaged into units that offer new forms of value.

On some level, data analysis for the purpose of unlocking unrealized gains has always existed. However, prior to this point in time, it has not existed on such a massive scale. Computational opportunities afforded by predictive analytics have contributed to this change.

Datafication examples

Examples of datafication as they relate to social and communications media include:

  • How Twitter ‘datafies’ stray thoughts or the datafication of HR by LinkedIn
  • Facebook’s misuse of data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal
  • Netflix’s transformation from a mail order-based disc rental service to an online entertainment powerhouse

Datafication: Impact

  • Human resources. In some cases, data obtained via mobile phones, apps or social media is used to identify potential employees, their specific characteristics and personality traits. It’s possible that this type of data extraction and analysis will replace personality tests or certain behavioral interviewing questions.
  • Insurance and banking. In these industries, datafication allows for a keen understanding of an individual’s risk profile and their trustworthiness as a borrower.
  • Customer relationship management. Businesses are using datafication to delve into consumer needs and wants. This data can be obtained via the language and tone that a person uses in emails, phone calls, or social media.
  • Smart cities. The data collected via smart city systems can be used in areas ranging from transportation, to waste management, to logistics, to the energy sector. In addition, real-time datafication could enable groups to gain more detailed insights into pollution levels, water quality, and necessary environmental regulations.

In short, new ways to explore, process, store and visualize information have led to and will continue to result in new business and societal benefits.

Datafication: Acceleration

As an increasing number of dimensions of our lives play out in digital spaces, some argue that datafication will intensify. Data science is an in-demand skill set in the work place, as exemplified within Mastercard’s latest business development programs.

In the way that electricity became essential to businesses as electrical generation and distribution systems emerged, datafication may represent the next mass-enterprise migration.

Or, to put it in more contemporary terms, “We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software,” stated Tim O’Reilley, Founder of O’Reilly Media.

For more information about data, business analytics, and data storage, please see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage.