Home Business Big Data What is Datability?

What is Datability?

Datability – the latest buzzword around the Big Data trend in business. But what does it mean and where does it come from?

How I first heard about Datability

The CeBIT 2014 in Germany was reflecting the subject of Big Data thoroughly and covered a lot of in-depth points as well as some new aspects of data handling and InfoSec (information security). The CeBIT is a leading IT exhibition and conference ground and has growing relevance since 1970.

During the CeBIT 2014 I first heard about Datability on my Twitter feed. I felt intrigued by that and was listening into the conversations and checked into a few statements and links provided there. I would like to present you my findings in this article and hope it shortens your research time on the matter.

What is Datability?


Datability is a made-up word to synthesize “data”, “ability” – and related to recent political happenings (keyword: Snowden) – also “sustainability” and “responsibility”. This is still a young term but I believe in its purpose and right to be used for a modern way of handling data.

Who designed this terminology?

Deutsche Messe AG, organiser of the CeBIT crafted this terminology after liaison with partners. Hartwig von Saß, head of press affairs, further stated that the design and message was already settled before there was news about Edward Snowden. My own research for usage shows that the first related communication was launched in August 2013.

Datability has already been recognized by organisations such as IBM, SAP, Microsoft, QlikTech, Accenture, DATEV, Shell, Atos and many others.

What does Datability mean?

If you want to consider Datability in Big Data you are trying to achieve a responsible way of handling data, especially if the data contains personal, organisational or political information.

Your data should be:

  • Protected from unauthorized and / or inappropriate use
  • Secure and shielded from theft and / or alteration
  • Stored on durable hardware
  • Stored in hazard-free environment
  • Available in redundant systems for disaster recovery

What does Datability mean for Companies?

It means nothing else than what your IT personnel was (most likely) always advising you of. The only difference now is, that business owners might be more open to change on data handling improvements facing an increased trend of cyber warfare. It means: Yes, your data might be accessed by unauthorized individuals or organisations if you don’t store it in a secure, sustainable and responsible manner. It happened before and will happen again.


What does Datability mean for Service Providers?

Service providers now have the chance to market on unchartered territories, which were previously avoided. Increased concern and skeptic views on data handling can now potentially be leveraged in marketing if the provider can either proof their Datability approach or offer an elevated service that offers better Datability features as an option for clients.

Datability Experts

In case you are eager to follow the news from niche experts, please check out the following individuals on Twitter. If you like you can also follow me (shameless, I know..).


Yes, you were right. Datability is a new buzzword and it is related to Big Data. However it addresses a vital part of business continuity and information security, that might have been overlooked in the past. If you are concerned about your data you can check with your IT department or data storage service provider.

Do you have question or would like to share your thoughts and experiences? Please do so! Just use the comment section below and join the conversation.

YouTube: Big Data and Datability on CeBIT 2014


Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttp://www.christopherisak.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. 😉


  1. Hey Chris!
    Good to see new posts from you! 🙂
    I wasn’t aware of Datability so far but as far as your explanation goes this makes pretty much sense!
    Do you Know if Kerstin from SMART is working on any writing?
    Some day I will start a blog too I hope when I gathered enough experience!!

    • Hi Ling
      Good to see you around. 🙂
      I’m glad this piece was of value for you. I hope it saves a lot of people the effort to do all the research again on their own.
      I can’t exactly tell what Kerstin is up to but there were heaps of important fairs and exhibitions around. I’m sure she was busy. 🙂
      Hey, if you want to publish an article just let me know and we can arrange something. I’d be interested in your views.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and have a great day!
      – Chris

  2. Thats interesting …. with the whole nsa and syrian cyber army things going on i expect people to handle data in a responsible manner. This is the voice of the customer..

  3. Very interesting piece and best definition I have come across yet.
    Datability is very important and should be relevant beyond infosec and privacy discussions.

  4. Thanks for this article in English. There’s heaps out there in German but hey …. not even a Wikipedia article or anything in English.
    So … thanks!

  5. […] The newly gained ability is focusing on the treatment of patients with mental illnesses. There are no indications that this will become a generally provided solution and there are no clear indications of the potential costs of using the Abilify MyCite pill. Once the pill enters the body of the patient, it will send data to a wearable patch which collects the data for later analysis. The patch will compile the data into meaningful chunks and provide same to a mobile app, which is available also for caregivers and other medical staff involved in the treatment via a web portal. Of course it’s mission critical to make sure the patient data is handled in a responsible way. […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.