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Properly implemented data privacy can create value for a company through increased trust and customer experience, operational efficiency and new revenues. We recommend companies to consider four aspects of data privacy when growing their data-driven digital businesses.

1. Stay compliant and earn the trust

Simple as that. Having data privacy issues sincerely addressed is a must-have hygiene factor for any business that holds or uses customer data in any way. The risk of regulatory fines and losing customers’ trust is just too significant for any corporation, as we have witnessed several times in recent years. Data privacy is therefore first and foremost a business issue, not a mere technical one. Being serious about data privacy and implementing a privacy-by-design culture requires a set of technical (IT & legal) as well as organizational (processes, culture, KPIs etc.) measures to succeed.

2. Understand what is of value to the customers

We recommend organizations to first talk to their customers and learn to understand the ways the company can create value for them through data. The new services and customer journeys should be designed based on this understanding. When the company can justify to their customers why they need certain data and how that will benefit the customers they are more likely to be content about sharing their personal data. Eventually, the organization will gather more meaningful and higher quality personal data which enables to get more business value out of the data.

3. Get lean and only gather what is necessary

A thorough review of a company’s data management practices and processes is an opportunity to enhance operational efficiency and create ROI in the short term. Companies tend to gather lots of sensitive personal data of their customers but never actually utilize the data. They are thus left with uneasy customers and regulatory burden without the benefits. Gathering less but higher quality personal data creates foundation for better structured data management. It often makes sense to just get rid of the mountains of unnecessary sensitive legacy data, simplify and re-draw processes involved in the data management.

4. Use the data smartly to create new revenue

A well-managed and up-to-date customer data is one of the most valuable assets a company could have in the digital age. Data analytics enables companies to for example design better services, predict customer behavior, recognize new potential, personalize services, reduce customer churn, improve sales and marketing and use it in business planning. Making this happen requires the right culture, competencies and ways-of-working. Data analytics can tremendously increase revenues and enhance profitability but only if the foundations are laid correctly.

This piece got inspiration from a GDPR seminar which was held in Helsinki on March 20th 2018 and organized by GDPR Tech and Wakaru.

Author

Juuso Lehto, Business Advisor, Digital & Strategy

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