Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn

December 2018


Research launch reveals the business value of data

Last week we launched our ground-breaking research into the value of business data with the Ponemon Institute. Launch attendees were given a sneak preview of the report findings and context on their significance by a panel that included Dr Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute and research lead, and our CEO Steve Abbott and CTO Ariel Peled.

The research – of more than 2,800 businesses in the US and UK and conducted per record type across multiple verticals – investigated whether there was a disconnect between the value attributed to data by business users and the IT teams that manage access to data.

We also wanted to discover a method for effectively communicating the value of data to senior executive teams and, vitally, the importance of protecting the data that really matters to the business.

If you missed it on the day, here are the highlights from the launch.

Not all data is equal

Steve Abbott opened up with an introduction to DocAuthority – including the fact that our founding members were pioneers of Data Loss Prevention back in 2001. 

We then got a chance to hear Dr Larry Ponemon deliver his thoughts on the research, on which he said: “We do lots of studies but this one has real gravitas and is of huge benefit to organisations.” 

Dr Ponemon talked us through the Ponemon Institute’s approach to compiling the research and highlighted some of the key findings from the research, including:

  • Not all information asset types are equal
  • The fresher information is, the higher its value
  • The cost to recreate different information assets and deal with the negative consequences of data leakage varies significantly
  • Businesses’ ability to accurately value information assets has practical implications

Dr Ponemon went on to describe how the research finds discrepancies in how businesses value their information assets. For example, IT Security values R&D documents at 50% less than the value the business places on reconstructing it, while it also significantly underestimates the cost of financial report leakage.

Furthermore, the research uncovers the cost of data breach per functional area before drilling down into the value that certain verticals place on particular data assets. For example, R&D documents are ranked with the highest value by IT Security while financial reports are ranked highest by finance and accounting organisations.


These figures show that businesses need a more accurate method for understanding the value of their data, which is where an automatic data discovery tool has a significant impact.

Reap the rewards of getting your data in order

Dr Ponemon passed the baton to Ariel, who began by discussing the major issue of unstructured data and the challenges it presents. He explained that businesses simply have too much data and, consequently, don’t know what they have, why they have it, where it is or who owns it.

This means businesses frequently place too much focus on the wrong information, such as PII which may have added focus due to it being in the press so much. DocAuthority takes that big mess of data, makes sense of it and helps businesses understand the real monetary implications it carries. This helps identify the data that carries the greatest financial risk and, as a result, demands more focus.

The DocAuthority AI tool automatically sorts documents and files by business functionality – such as employee agreements, quotes, price lists – with 99.99% accuracy. Rather than managing a physical location containing various documents, we help businesses to manage specific types of document regardless of location, age or owner. The result is huge time savings and significant cost reduction, in addition to being able to better manage, understand and exploit the data they own.

The key point here is helping businesses zone in on the financial threat of data. This takes you from talking about risk and security issues, which your C-level exec will struggle to get onboard with, to talking money, cost reduction and bottom line – which will instantly grab their attention.

For example, Ariel provided us with a demonstration of how we can quickly and simply show management which data or systems carry the most financial risk to the business. He also presented us with insight into the ‘Snowden Detector’, a tool that provides insight into which employees, through their access to company data, carry the greatest potential financial damage to the organization, which can be used to manage permission access or provide the necessary training to particular employees.

To get your free copy of the research report, grab your copy here.

 Download Ponemon Report

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