Shelly Palmer

We’ve found that few enterprises fully recognize the value of data, data governance, and data hygiene. Data is cash, and it should be treated like cash. You need a data P&L.

There are really three kinds of data. First-party data is your own company’s asset, which you are directly responsible for collecting. It may be from cookies, email subscriptions, orders, or sales receipts. Or it may be generated by customer behavior, such as a propensity to click a particular button or visit a location.

Second-party data is simply someone else’s first-party data.

Third-party data is collected by outside companies. Companies like Acxiom and Experian acquire and aggregate data on customers from many different places, and they analyze and index it until they have complete profiles on everybody.

All the best-practice purveyors of third-party data do their best to verify it, but it’s still third-party data, and thus less accurate than first- or second-party.

When you operate with a data P&L, you tend to favor deals that leverage your data by combining it with first-party data from other organizations. This will almost always create additional value, because data is more powerful in the presence of other data.

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