Overcoming today’s data dilemma
Andreas Bartsch, Head of Innovation and Services at PBT Group
In today’s digitally driven business environment, phrases like “data is the new oil” reverberate across boardrooms and business seminars. This is where the intricacies of data management, monetisation, and governance loom large. For all the challenges that exist when it comes to understanding and using data effectively, the opportunities are more significant. Ultimately, much of this comes down to safeguarding data to optimise it not only for business success but to transform the client value proposition as well.
With vast volumes of data generated daily, the lines between data ownership, usage rights, and IP rights often blur. As data becomes a tradable asset, businesses must tread carefully, ensuring that in their pursuit to monetise, they do not infringe on any IP rights or inadvertently give away their own.
Mention data, and POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) inevitably follow. These regulatory frameworks, one South African and the other European, but both globally relevant, enforce stringent guidelines for data protection and are just two examples of regulations that tightly govern how data can be used. Effectively, they dictate how data should be collected, stored, processed, and even destroyed, ensuring that individual rights are at the forefront of every data strategy.
Bridging customer trust
Data is the backbone of customer experience (CX) management. As we look to understand and cater to clients better, CX systems store invaluable insights. This puts the onus on the organisation to protect the data and to ensure it is used to enhance the CX while not being abused or misused.
The sheer volume of data we generate can be overwhelming. But it is in this volume where the value can be unlocked when knowing how to tap into it. Business Intelligence (BI) tools, coupled with big data and data analytics, empower us to sift through this vast ocean of data and pick out pearls of actionable insights. These tools not only allow businesses to make informed decisions but also pave the way for innovations, help predict market trends, and identify customer behaviours previously hidden to organisations.
The allure of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can sometimes overshadow the basics. We have always maintained that before diving into advanced tools and technologies, a return to the basics is crucial. Understanding the why and how of data implementation is just as vital as the data itself.
The potential for data monetisation is immense. Direct monetisation strategies like selling data or indirect avenues like operational efficiencies can provide lucrative revenue streams. However, just because we can monetise does not always mean we should. Ethical considerations, client trust, and regulatory compliance play crucial roles in any monetisation strategy. Businesses need to balance the scales between potential profits and the ethical implications of their monetisation tactics.
Data is the thread that holds today’s digital age together. As organisations, our role is twofold. From a custodian perspective, it is imperative to ensure the sanctity and safety of this data. And from an innovation perspective, it becomes vital to harness the potential that data provides.
The data dilemma is not about the amount of data we have. Rather, it also includes what we choose to do with the data at our disposal. It is a fine line between protection and progression. As we wade through these uncharted waters, our compass must always be aligned to trust, ethics, and innovation. Only then can we truly unlock the value that data promises, ensuring a more data-driven future for data-driven organisations.