How should Wall Street fairly value a business? Conventional assets like sales, earnings and brand recognition are routinely considered. Now Gartner is suggesting that a company’s data should be thrown into the mix.

In a new report on the growing economic impact of data and analytics, the IT researcher argues that the value of a company’s information should be included on its balance sheet. By 2021, it predicts, many companies will have adopted formal valuation and auditing practices for their information portfolios and stock market analysts will include the outcomes in their buy, hold and sell recommendations.

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