"Bankrupt RadioShack wants to sell off user data", reports The Switch today. As you may know RadioShack filed for bankruptcy and appears headed toward a liquidation. One asset proposed for sale is the company's years and years of data on its customers and their contact information. Should make for an interesting case in the Bankruptcy Court as many have come out to challenge RadioShack's (trustee) right to sell the data or to dispute the ownership of certain data.
The takeaway from this story--data has value. Every operating company should have a policy to review the sale of data every five years (or shorter) as a part of a new business development or business model innovation program. A directory of the different types of data collected and the years captured might be an easy way to start. Every company collects data, but I think few have a sufficient understanding of that data to evaluate the use in a new business opportunity or as a new revenue source for an existing business. Sounds like a whole new branch of consulting may be born.