Unlocking value with ‘data as an asset’

Data is often described as the ‘new oil’. In our modern digital world, everything we do is more and more connected. The increase migration of socio-economic activities to the Internet and the decline in the cost of data collection, storage and processing, are generating extensive volumes of data – commonly referred to as “big data”. The explosion of data offer myriad opportunities both internally (streamlining processes, customer insight, enabling new products, etc.) and externally (selling data to third parties), thereby creating new business models with data to learn about customers’ desires and needs, and diversify the company’s products.

This development may also trigger concerns of the General Counsel, such as:

  • uncertainties concerning ownership of data
  • compliance with data protection laws and regulations
  • data quality challenges
  • data assets (business intelligence) being stolen and/or misused

The free flow of data vs. ownership

Although there is legislation available which protects ‘data as an asset’ (i.e. copyright and database rights), there is no EU legislation regulating the data ownership question. Hence, there is need to build a governance model in relation to your digital/data asset strategy. A critical part of creating a successful digital/data asset strategy involves understanding the regulatory constraints related to data acquisition, use, sharing and disclosure.

Elements of a sound data strategy framework

A data strategy defines a company’s visions and approach for managing, governing, analyzing and utilizing data. It can be defensive and primarily focused on managing risks and ensuring compliance, or offensive thereby focusing on new data-driven propositions, increasing revenue, profitability and customer fulfillment. Either way, for each strategy the intent is to unlock value with your data. However, the key for your data strategy to be effective is striking the right balance between managing risks and cease opportunities and between control and flexibility. This means that your data strategy will be vivid, changing for direction and velocity adapting to market trends, competitors and the overall corporate strategy.

In order to define the data strategy framework we should gain insight in all processes within the data domain, from data use, management, exchange, retention, storage to (big) data analytics and monetization. A sound data strategy should further take into account high value data assets integral to an organization’s corporate strategy and include tangible guidance on ecosystems and ownership. This will be the key enabler to unlock and drive value.


Digital/Data Asset Management & Monetization is a new method, addressing multiple disciplines (legal, strategy consulting, risk advisory) and all layers within the data framework. Our approach will be:

  1. Identify your vision and mission by analyzing (identify and classify) the digital/data assets, information security techniques, internal data governance, processes and standards;
  2. Assess the data value chain and data capabilities. Understanding the data value chain will illustrate the data flow and capabilities such as data storage and management, which subsequently empowers the data integration for data analytics purposes, ultimately resulting in insight and additional value of your data;
  3. Assess new data business models or frameworks taking into account the data- and corporate strategy, the legal compliance framework and monetization opportunities;
  4. Implement or determine next steps to implement the new data business model, framework or governance structure and monetize your digital/data assets.

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Interested and want more information? Please get in touch with:

Chantal Bakermans van Deloitte Legal


tel : +316 19304389