Data, analytics and Leadership : Leadership Implications of Big Data - 1

An extract from Mick’s work on the Leadership Implications of Big Data, from the new book “New Eyes: The Human side of Change Leadership


There’s a revolution going on – the move from business and government ownership of  Big Data to individual access, and thus ownership.

Governments, companies, and universities collect all kinds of data, yet often an individual has to fight to access their own data; individuals create 70 percent of the data but enterprises are responsible for storing and managing 80 percent of it.

This is shifting, as individuals are beginning to have personal access to all of their own data.Companies or government won’t have the same broad access across all of the many data sources we generate.

Obvious privacy issues make it hard for even governments to aggregate disparate personal data sources (at least legally). Yet individuals will be able to analyse all of their own data, accessible via mobile devices and connected through the cloud, and create their own action plans from the insights. No longer will business or government have the monopoly on data and what to do with it.

Control, or at least the right to control, is shifting.

Industry has another challenge – trust. Would you let Facebook have your bank account details? Would you let your bank or Amazon have your emails to friends and family? That seems unlikely.

On the other hand, even if individuals are not directly using some form of “aggregation app” all their data turns up on their locally controlled device, whether PC, Mac, tablet, or phone. Accounts are already connected in the social media sphere (login with Facebook or Twitter, anyone?), but the technology now allows us to go much further.

Many companies are racing to create a secure “wallet” on our devices (Google, Apple, Square, credit card companies, and many others). In the first instance, these wallets will be for secure bank and shopping transactions. But when travel or restaurant details are added, movies and music included, you “chat” profile and what your friends like and do, the wallet will be a hugely powerful data source for analysis and predictions of all kinds.

At its crudest implementation, knowing a little more about individual preferences and likes can lead to more targeted and therefore more effective advertising. That’s what Google does. But it also gives us, the individual, a better understanding of the value of our own data.

We are entering a data marketplace.

Individuals create and increasingly access all of their own data, and government and business want it. An exchange will take place. Individuals will want something of value to them in return for access to their data.

Pre-Big Data, businesses offered loyalty programs in exchange for customer purchase data. The currency of exchange was rewards, gifts, miles, and cash back. Today, when the individual has the data, the exchange will go the other way.

We will demand loyalty and a fair return for our data.

With ever increasing demands from customers and dramatic advances in technology, business has no choice but to learn how to understand and then effectively work with this change in data control.

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