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Driving value from your data in a GDPR world

Alan Agnew 5 minute read GDPR

We hear a lot about the opportunities that effective data management can bring to organisations, but I’m not always sure it’s clear how to apply it, or how to drive value from it. The four pillars of good data strategy offer a view on how to approach it, but the important part is what outcome it can bring.  

Here are three takeaways from a recent presentation I gave on the opportunity of GDPR. These will help you think about your data strategy and how to drive value in our data-driven economy, particularly as you prepare the data you hold to support your GDPR compliance.

1) You don’t need to be responsible for the GDPR to benefit from it

We hear so much about the threat of the GDPR and the potential ramifications of not being ready in the form of fines and brand reputation. But there are huge opportunities to be gained from the GDPR if you get it right.

Through clean data and good ongoing data management (which are key requirements under the GDPR) you can benefit from:

  • a clearer and singular view of your customer
  • more accurate targeting
  • a better customer experience
  • improved efficiency
  • better trust to encourage data sharing
  • decreased risk
  • improved innovation

We’ve written a blog on how GDPR will help boost your business here.

2) Consumers are more aware than ever of the way we use their data

The GDPR brings with it new consumer rights. Our research shows that consumers want more transparency about how organisations are using their data because they understand there’s a value exchange, but fundamentally it is their data.

A recent Experian Data Preferences Survey shows that there are significant divides in the way people feel about sharing their data. It flagged that 22% simply don’t understand and/or don’t take the time to understand how their data is used (The Unaware). Whilst this trusting attitude can mean that they are more likely to use a service that requires them to share their personal data, they can often react with genuine shock and anger when they do find out how the organisation uses their data.

And not every customer is the same. Even beyond ‘The Unaware’ group, there is a further 41% (The Accepting) who will share data rather begrudgingly but need to understand in simple terms how it is being used. There’s also 28% (The Cautious) who will take the time to fully understand the data value exchange.

That puts the onus on organisations to take responsibility for being open and transparent about how they are using customer data responsibly. Our recent Global Data Management Research showed that less than half (48%) of them believe that their customers are fully aware of how they use their data and trust them to use it responsibly.

There’s clearly some work for organisations to do here as they plan their data activities in the run-up to the GDPR. The benefits of good data usage and management across the organisation will, however, more than pay off and not just to meet regulation. There is an opportunity to build more transparency and trust with your customers by using their data in a clear and coherent way.

3) Data quality can make or break your GPPR preparations

It’s easy to dismiss the importance of data quality to focus on more ‘important’ aspects of the up and coming regulation. Here are two examples of where data quality plays a critical role in wider GDPR requirements:

1. The Subject Access Request (SAR): You’ll now have only one month to respond to an individual’s request for information you hold on them. Without a single, consistent view of all your customer data, it is much harder to locate and respond to a SAR request with confidence.

2. Data Breach: Within the GDPR, if a data breach occurs it needs to be reported within 72 hours and, if personal data has been stolen, all affected individuals need to be informed. To do this, the contact details you hold on your customers’ needs to be accurate, complete and valid. If it isn’t, then how are you going to inform them?

For more on the importance of data quality in GDPR preparation, check out our blog here.

Being both a data custodian and FCA regulated, Experian knows first-hand what it takes to meet regulatory obligations. Taking this experience, packaged with our software, bureau services and expert data handling, we are well equipped to support organisations with data management to support their compliance efforts.

To find out more about our GDPR solutions and to read our resources, visit our online GDPR hub. If you’d also like to meet our team face to face, we have a number of events where we offer practical guidance, give you the opportunity to discuss your own challenges and share best practices with your peers. 

Please note that while we can support businesses with their preparations for the GDPR, we cannot offer legal counsel or compliance advice.