The deal with data

Mike Taylor | 16 August 2019

Unless voiced by David of the Attenborough variety, it takes a lot for a documentary to cut through and hit us where it hurts. It is in this case, however, that Netflix’s The Great Hack has gone straight for the societal jugular.

Exploring how data company, Cambridge Analytica came to symbolise the dark side of social media in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the 2 hour 19 minute film has only added to the public’s growing concerns around data rights. And that doesn’t just mean the manner in which data is being obtained, but the ways in which data is being used.

It is subsequent of journalistic unveilings such as these, alongside the huge fines imposed on the big daddies: Facebook, British Airways and the Marriot group for data breaches, that the world is waking up to the value of their digital selves.

Data, now a commodity, must be handled with care.

Organisations feeling overwhelmed with this sort of stuff is too be expected. We’re entering a new age of how our information is collected, distributed and used – for and against us. Times are indeed, a-changing.

For brands and businesses, this is a vital period of trust-building with consumers. That starts with getting the data you do have in check. Where is it? Whos is it? How is it being used? Do you have consent to use it in this way?

Answer these questions. For your business’ sake, yes. But for the sake of the fundamental data rights of the people, more so.

If tracking and analysing data is taking up a lot of your time (or makes you want to chuck up your Weetabix at the mere thought of it) you probably need a tech upgrade. Tools that use AI to take the strain out of data collection and management increase the value you get from your data, whilst saving you time.

Because data has immense power to drive change, for the good, the bad and the ugly. If your business stays transparent and accountable for how it uses customer information and pays attention to the key metrics, then you’ll fall on the right side of that change.

But take heed, the time is now. The issues of data collection and attribution are only going to grow more complex. Get organised. Stay alert. The people have spoken.