Our data has never been more important to us as individuals and companies than it is right now – and all the signs point towards this becoming ever truer in future. From GDPR and e-security to the changing face of the data owner within a firm, the issues facing the Data industry are everywhere. Couple this with uniformed lawmakers and regulation struggling to keep up and you’re faced with a very interesting scenario.
In the midst of ‘The Year of the Data Breach’, I was asked to Chair the World Data Forum in a rainy Barcelona last month, and I wanted to share a few of the key themes that came out of this.
Data misuse is big business these days. A fraudster can utilise a data set to find out about a person in intricate detail and tailor their criminal activity appropriately. Whilst we as an insurer have a desire to find out as much as we can to really know our customers, it’s also incumbent on us to take good care of this data.
With greater power comes much greater responsibility, and this was evident across the board at the World Data Forum, with everyone from banking to dating sites waxing lyrical about the importance of data security.
What struck me most is the lack of data strategy I saw in the marketplace. LV= is very forward thinking in this respect and I encouraged my peers to have a look at their internal processes to see how they could better manage their data in a strategic way.
The second key theme I noticed was just how much the data industry has evolved over the years. When we data-geeks first started getting together it was full of Chief Information Officers who had been told that the buck stopped with them so they might as well get clued up on their customers’ data journey.
Now I’m in a room full of Chief Data Officers and Data Scientists. I think this has been propelled by the focus on the lineage of data through a business.
In today’s world we’re always dealing with new suppliers who want a piece of our data pie in exchange for their service, and that’s without a Merger or Acquisition happening to shake things up. Keeping that central core of data under management throughout whichever twists and turns the company takes is fundamental – and this is why we’re seeing more specialist data-owners.
Finally, we’re seeing technology advance to such a rapid extent. This poses a number of challenges, but not least is how to make sure that we use the new tech to its full capacity to squeeze as much value out of the data we hold – and also use it to tap into rich new seems of data previously untouched. One way we are harnessing these advances is by improving our customer experience.
For us it makes sense, because if a customer journey is more efficient and intuitive then the customer will be more willing to part with their data. To take this one step further we can then utilise web analytics to make sure that we don’t have to ask the customer the same things ever again. This is a great example of using the data we collect to improve the lives of our customers.
One of the main reassurances I gained from the forum on the whole was that everyone has their own issues. It’s easy for us to fret and worry that we’re not advanced as we could or should be, but this was the message I was getting loud and clear from all of the attendees.
Thanks for reading my blog and I hope this has helped shine a light on the major issues facing the data we use to make informed business decisions.