Outside Chicago, from 1905 to 1983, a large western electric factory complex called the Hawthorne Works, employed 45,000 workers at its peak. In the 1920s, industrial researcher and organizational theorist, Elton Mayo, ran a series of famous experiments at the plant, resulting in the coining of the Hawthorne Effect, which he describes as a positive emotional effect due to the perception of an interested or sympathetic observer. Why do I mention this? Well, just as with other assets, the mere act of measuring and reporting on information's quantity, quality characteristics, usage patterns, and the various ways it's used, can shed a spotlight on it that alone can change the way that people capture, produce, manage, and use it. The Hawthorne Effect may have inspired the quote often misattributed, both to the father of quality management Edward Deming and the father of modern management Peter Drucker, which is, "You can't manage what you don't measure." Regardless, this quote holds perpetual sway among management professionals in all disciplines. But since it elicits disdain from others, I might suggest that, a variation which is, "It's easier to manage what you measure," or, "It's good to measure what you intend to manage." They're more reasonable takes on this famous aphorism. As the chief data officer at GE Power, Christina Clark told me, she said, "I haven't yet come up with the right analogy for how big the challenge is. If the CDO did everything the CDO could to help manage the enterprise's data better, it would require an army or a complete reorganization. Prioritizing is the key to survival and sanity," she said. Understanding which information assets are used by the most processes, which are the most critical to business outcomes, which have the biggest quality challenges, or which present the greatest compliance security or privacy risks, makes a good case to start prioritizing information asset management activities and initiatives. My colleague, Valerie Logan, has identified that, overcoming issues related to the vernacular, the terminology, surrounding information is one of the keys to improving its management. The ability to describe data quality, security availability, or value generation needs and challenges and numerical values offers a way for information technology, business people, chief financial officers, information professionals, and even regulators and business partners to communicate more effectively about information. Various leading and trailing indicators, forecasting methods, and value determinations of information asset management activities, can and should be supported by a range of metrics. Whether it's determining the return on investment, or ROI, or simply connecting the dots between information characteristics and business outcomes, quantifying information's quality and evaluation are critical. Several years ago, I spoke with Carsten Casper, Gartner's managing vice president of digital workplace security, about how organizations budget for data security if they don't know the value of what they're securing. He suggested that most employ one of two methods. Either, keep up with the Jones's method of spending what other organizations like theirs do, or, waiting until some catastrophic event like a breach, and then spending enough to make sure that this or something like it doesn't happen again. I refer to this latter method as Blunderfunding. Knowing the value of what you're securing along with the risks and expenses of various kinds of data security events, seems to be the only reasonable method for data security budgeting. Few of the information monetization stories we've discussed would have gone beyond prototype or pilot stage without the ability to measure their benefits. Not just the outcomes, but how do these outcomes link to particular information assets. These stories will get other stories. In other words, the publicized success of one information monetization initiative can lead to a dozen others within the organization. Moreover, they illustrate the business people throughout the organization the latent value in dormant or underutilized information assets. Sometimes, just the mere act of putting a cost or market value on an information asset, leads to the realization that it can, and should be monetized in a variety of ways. If acquiring and administering an information asset has a measurable expense, shouldn't you be recouping it at least? And, if an information asset has an identifiable market value, shouldn't you be realizing that value somehow? Performing these kinds of calculations can induce information monetization efforts. Senior executives boards of directors and investors have an incomplete picture of a company's value today, with only a summation of the company's reportable assets, and it's speculative market value, if the company's public. Regardless what GAAP and IFRS regulations dictate, why shouldn't the companies execs also have a more complete evaluation of all assets? How else can a CFO align corporate strategy and budgets without knowing the contribution of information assets to business performance? Perhaps this is why some CDOs even report directly to their company CFO. Remember, investors seem to reward companies with info savvy behaviors by a factor of two to one. Also, a recent study indicated that nearly half of equity analysts consider a company's information along with its analytics capabilities in valuing the business as a whole. If those who are valuing your business are paying attention to the value of information, why isn't your CFO? Moreover, organizations that identify and plan alternative ways to leverage existing information assets are inherently growing their own market value. What about potential MNA situations? There's evidence from IP advisory firms to suggest that companies internally valuing their information assets even though they're not auditable, per accounting regulations, are rewarded by potential suitors. Conversely, a failure to internally account for the value of one's information assets can prove detrimental. Consider the case of Caesars Entertainment, that was sued by investors for surreptitiously shifting customer loyalty information from one of its corporate entities to another.