Data that gets things done is in motion. Morphing. Like a number in a spreadsheet cell, copied by clipboard to an email, or maybe to an input field of a software application where it's processed by program code. Maybe the output goes across a network to drive a drill-press, or maybe it just lands in a report, or another spreadsheet.
Amnesia and a Swiss bank account couldn't do a better job of making data untraceable. Stripping it of any meaning or context it might have had along the way as it shape-shifts from one format or medium to the next. Having to validate data all the time cuts productivity. Writing and testing custom data handling in every program does too.
Crazy idea that changes everything: Instead of just digits, let numbers be little packages called truenumbers that still work everywhere numbers do, but each one carries DNA encoding what it means, where it came from and any other facts that might get added along the way. Suddenly, governance, security and traceability become part of everything. Miracles happen too, like spreadsheets becoming more audit-proof than enterprise systems.
Did we mention we're cool?
"Any IT executive whose company uses spreadsheets prolifically should be looking at Truenumbers -- any industry — including education, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and so on — can benefit from it."
-Marc Halpern, Gartner