Data as oil, infrastructure or asset? Three metaphors of data as economic value

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 18 (1):28-43 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


PurposePrincipled discussions on the economic value of data are frequently pursued through metaphors. This study aims to explore three influential metaphors for talking about the economic value of data: data are the new oil, data as infrastructure and data as an asset.Design/methodology/approachWith the help of conceptual metaphor theory, various meanings surrounding the three metaphors are explored. Meanings clarified or hidden through various metaphors are identified. Specific emphasis is placed on the economic value of ownership of data.FindingsIn discussions on data as economic resource, the three different metaphors are used for separate purposes. The most used metaphor, data are the new oil, communicates that ownership of data could lead to great wealth. However, with data as infrastructure data have no intrinsic value. Therefore, profits generated from data resources belong to those processing the data, not those owning it. The data as an asset metaphor can be used to convince organizational leadership that they own data of great value.Originality/valueThis is the first scholarly investigation of metaphors communicating economic value of data. More studies in this area appear urgent, given the power of such metaphors, as well as the increasing importance of data in economics.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,491

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Data models and the acquisition and manipulation of data.Todd Harris - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1508-1517.
Issues in Data Management.Sharon S. Krag - 2010 - Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (4):743-748.
Towards a Taxonomy of the Model-Ladenness of Data.Alisa Bokulich - forthcoming - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association.
Good Data.Angela Daly, Monique Mann & S. Kate Devitt - 2019 - Amsterdam, Netherlands: Institute of Network Cultures.


Added to PP

59 (#241,159)

6 months
9 (#142,342)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Cyberlibertarian myths and the prospects for community.Langdon Winner - 1997 - Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 27 (3):14-19.

Add more references