"Data is the new Oil" is not new. This Economist article outlines the analogy but notes that unlike energy markets with active trading in oil, data is silo-ed and there is a dearth of markets in data.
In addition, the article notes that there is debate on where the value is - in the data or the algorithms. One side makes the case that it is "about recipes, not ingredients" and more data does not add anything. But new data, fresh data could enable new applications.
We know that data brokers have collected and sold high value structured personal data for decades. In ad-tech, data exchanges are a key element of real-time bidding (RTB) and programmatic trading and in the Deep and Dark web, data is already actively being traded in forums and sold in blackmarkets.
But what has to happen for more pervasive trading of unstructured data? And will data become commoditized first or with open source ML / AI tools, will common algorithms be good enough?
Those and more great questions in this article, it will take quite a while for answers to emerge.
After a ride-hailing firm has collected enough data to offer one service—real-time traffic information, say—more data may not add much value. But if it keeps collecting data, at some point it may be able to offer more services, such as route planning.