Drones may be thought of as a tool that can provide access to hard-to-reach areas or as a way to get a more holistic view of a property or project, but their greatest value-add might have little to do with flying.

Today, companies in every industry crave data. It may be the most important resource for the modern business to succeed, and drones are proving to be a valuable asset in the pursuit of more information.

“A large portion of the applications that we’re using drones for these days is really data collection,” Michael Hartnack, Global Energy Technologies Expert and Consultant at Navigant, a Guidehouse company, said.

While at the Commercial UAV Expo, Hartnack expressed that as back-end technology continues to improve, the data that drones will be able to collect will only become more refined. This means companies will be able to analyze it faster and with more accuracy. Data will continue to separate companies from the competition and if drone professionals can provide new insights for clients, the industry will continue to take off.