Your data: The here and now

Stephen Ketteringham,

Virtusa Corp

Published: April 25, 2018

Data and big data are a couple of the most topical and hyped terms in today's market. For many individuals / customers, this is a confusing subject, but businesses see this as an opportunity to increase market share and a new revenue stream.

Some of us are old enough to remember the days of a personal bank manager -the one who (we thought) helped us make informed financial decisions. Data in the brave, new digital world brings the sort of insights a personal bank manager could have only dreamt of providing, and it blends those insights into a personalized service which customers adore.

However, data management goes beyond collecting large volumes of unstructured and structured data, processing analysing it in real time to reveal unique insights and unexpected relationships, or even predicting the future. Data management must be personal at the point of access, relevant, and easy to consume.

Focusing on the individual and having data as your SME guide your decision-making is very important. In today's digital world, you need to be as close to your customers choices as possible, since, if they leave, they often take their friends with them.

The biggest challenge then is not in data collection, but in human skills i.e., data scientists - people who can leverage this invaluable asset to ask the right questions and who use their analytical skills to analyze and structure the data to arrive at sensible answers.

Your Data: Use it wisely and carefully

Data is a doubled-edged sword, especially when one considers the recent events unravelling with Facebook or even the new GDPR regulation that will come into effect in May 2018. Organizations can no longer take data for granted. They need to have processes to ensure data security and protect information they hold.

Businesses could potentially be slapped with large fines for noncompliance or inappropriate use of an individual's data. Businesses are obliged to take a written content from individuals regarding how their data can be used.

For example, under GDPR, a leading European telco's record £400,000 fine would actually total £59 million and Facebook could have potentially been fined just over $0.5 Billion.

Your Data: So what of the future?

The Digital Me is now becoming a common phrase.

Digital Me is everybody and the notion of 'myself' in the digital world adds additional complexity to a human's way of thinking - a virtual self that we tend to ignore because it is not always visible and/or tangible. Digital Me will increasingly be the online persona built around an individual's personal data and interactions.

With new technologies, such as Alexa, there could come a time when devices (the Jarvis of tomorrow) become an individual's personal assistant - maintaining personal data and records and acting as agents for and on behalf of their owners. Put another way, your devices now become personal SMEs.

Could there be a time in the not too distant future when an individual's SME talks to a business- SME on the individual's behalf and pulls the relevant and filtered information for consumption at a time suited to their personal schedules?

Unlike a human SME, the Digital SME, based on data, will not have off-days or provide subjective information. The possibilities are limitless. Data as the SME is just the beginning.

Stephen Ketteringham

Virtusa Corp

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