Data is the New Oil in 21st Century | Know why in 21st Century We are saying that Data is the New Oil?

Now a days, it is a buzzing statement that data is the new oil. In today’s world, energy is a undetachable part of our daily life, without energy our life gets stopped suddenly. Here we are talking about thermal energy and electrical energy in daily use by which we are using transportation, cell phone, personal computer, Television and other machineries. In the beginning of mankind, fire was the first energy source which we have learnt to use and that is considered as first step of development in recent past. Among all such ground braking discovery, use of oil was another value addition towards development. If we look at recent value addition on human civilization, we can not ignore data as a factor. So, one question comes into our mind that can we compare data with oil? In other words, can we say that data is the new oil in 21st century? Let’s deep dive into the concept.

Context of Oil

K ingdom of Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil exporter in the world. In 1938, first oil reserve was found in the Saudi Arabia. Before that, the use of petroleum was known, and Edwin Drake discovered modern oil in 1859. Probably mankind was waiting for such oil reserve which can push the civilization into newer height and fulfill the requirement of energy as we already knew that what we can achieve with that. When oil has been found, human has started using it for transport, run machinery and in many other industrial and commercial use.


Now the oil has become necessary part of development & daily use. On the other hand, which countries have large oil reserve, it is dominating the world by having more money and fulfilling the global requirements with oil exports. Also, Saudi Arabia has developed the economy of country with the money coming from oil export.

Context of Data

Information is the key in any field whether it is technology, economy, human behaviour, science, commerce or any other subjects. From the beginning of mankind, humans are seeking for information to enhance knowledge. So, information & knowledge is the key for any development. Data analysts are using various techniques to get information out of data and various techniques are being used in these processes like data mining and various statistical methods. Also, we can predict future by using predictive analytics with historical data. In a nutshell, data is the key element for development as it is producing information and knowledge.


Oil vs data

We can get information out from data. As oil gives us energy, data gives us information. Oil is being refined to get finished product which can be usable where data cleaning or processing is done to get meaningful information from it. So, oil is fulfilling the energy requirement and data fulfills requirement of information.

Why in 21st Century we are taking that data is the new oil?

21st century is the edge of digitalization and we are producing data in each second. Whenever mobile phone, social media and easily accessible internet came into the picture, we got more involved into all these activities and producing data. We are using social network, search engine, digital maps, digital books, video conferencing, online video platform, OTT (Over the top) platforms in everyday and without those we can not imagine a day. Before 21st century, neither we were used to these activities nor producing data each second. Because of enormous development of technology and change in our daily routine, data has become important commodity.

Importance of data for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are buzzing terms now a days which may transform the future of earth and mankind. If we look at the base of those technologies, data is the backbone and food for those technologies. For machine learning techniques, algorithm is looking at the historical data and hidden pattern and predict. The same concept is applicable for Artificial Intelligence and machine intelligence is been created based on past data and logic. So, without data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is not possible. In other words, if we would not have data, AI could not exist in terms of application and real uses.

Final Words

In 21st century, data is the new oil which is the game changer for our civilization. As mentioned earlier that oil is being used to produce energy to fulfill personal and industrial requirements where data is being used to get information and gather knowledge. If we focus on the use cases of data in real world, it can be many where we are presently using and there are many unexplored areas where data can solve the problem. As Saudi Arabia has large oil reserve and dominating the world in terms of oil export and generating revenue out of it, same way the countries or organizations who will be having more usable data, will be dominating the world. Any decision can be taken with the help of real data-based evidence and knowledge. 

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