When I started my economic consultancy and information analysis business back in 2007 I was searching for a name that would describe my work in economics and information analysis and that was unique enough to appear early on in the search enginge result pages without too much trouble. At that time is was still cool to use a portmanteau (this was before dropping out a vowel caught-on) so I was certain that I was on to a winner.

I didn’t realise for some time that the term had already been coined by Doug Laney, then at META Group, to describe the practice of treating information as an asset. As an intangible asset information is given a price, appears on financial accounts, and is managed accordingly.

Since this definition now seems to dominate the wikipedia page on the subject, I think it’s about time I added my voice to the debate.

In my mind, at least, Infonomics is about information-based on economics, not economics-based on information. Whereas econometrics refers to economic statistics (and, let’s be honest, principally regression analysis), I imagined Infonomics as a super-set including elements of computer science (such as information theory, algorithmic design, artificial intelligence, and data visualisation).

Of course there’s rarely a single, unambigious definition of a neologism. But at least we can all agree that wikipedia should no longer say “nobody has as yet referred to himself/herself as an infonomist”.