Startups spend enormous time and effort on pitch decks to attract investment from venture capitalists.

VCs in turn spend on average two minutes and 30 seconds reading them.

We know that because DocSend, a unit of Dropbox compiles the data.

Each week the firm releases stats on a) how many decks founders create b) how many decks VCs review c) how long they review each.

It’s fascinating for VCs and depressing for founders, but it also points to a seismic shift occurring in the landscape for financial data.

Companies used to control the information investors needed to analyze a business. They would release sales and earnings data quarterly.

Controlling the data would also give them greater control over the narrative they would tell investors.

Increasingly, countless intermediaries, such as DocSend, can provide a better and more nuanced read on a niche market.

The trend has been going on for some time, but it’s accelerating.

More and more in-between firms (think of Google compiling search and location data) are in a position to detect economic and business shifts.

Many of those companies don’t have the domain expertise and haven’t structured the data they collect to make it useful or be able to market it.

But that is coming.

We are at a crossroads where the data that has been used for decades – from non-farm payrolls to corporate earnings – should be displaced.

But it’s not clear which of the new sets will become benchmarks.