Company data can be defined as distinct pieces about individual incorporated businesses usually formatted in a special way. Company data can exist in a variety of forms -- as numbers or text on pieces of paper, as bits and bytes stored in electronic memory, or as facts stored in a person's mind.
Strictly speaking, company data is the plural of company datum, a single piece of information. In practice, however, people use this information as both the singular and plural form of the phrase.
Ironically in today's business world the term ‘company data’ is interchangeable with company information. In a sense the collection of data leads one to be informed about a business and so the information may not be the end user term most likely to get people to understand the value of company data. Nonetheless, it is absolutely critical to the successful functioning of a modern economy.
Without data a company can be left rudderless. Company data allows managers, no matter how remote to the actual point they are trying to manage, to assess performance, but only if the company data collected is benchmarked in an appropriate way.
Some businesses have made their whole reason for being the provision of company data. International business machines, or IBM, is one such company. In fact the growth in the company data industry was a powerful driver in the growth of IBM. Oracle is another example where company data is a driving commercial force.
The development of computing has increased the value of company data since it can now be sliced and diced any number of ways and the power of computing technology can be harnessed to crunch vast amounts of this information.
Yet the presentation still needs to make sense to the human eye. It was not uncommon when great computing power was applied to find that the ability to sort the data was in of itself a valuable thing.
Huge piles of computing paper could be found lying in air-conditioned computing rooms around the world with numbers on. Rows and rows of pieces of data were available for all to see. But it was too much too fast. The human brain could not comprehend the meaning of all this.
Soon the growth of computerised company data spurred two other industries. Security waste firms started to emerge to dispose of sensitive bits printed out for all to see. The recycling firms started to feed off the piles of paper that the information was stamped on.
There is clearly a case to be made that we need to do some more study of the effect of company data on our economy as a whole. Since the tiny bits and bytes of data that so often blink innocently from our computer screens have been the cause of an economic burst of activity, which may be unparalleled in modern times. They might also be the cause of a few wars here and there - but, as they say, is another story! What do you think about company data?