GDPR - The new 'Equity Release' for Businesses.

GDPR - The new 'Equity Release' for Businesses

A brief from Jason Turner, Data2Action


With virtually every form of media currently saturated with 'all things GDPR', it's a sad fact that many businesses remain both perplexed by the changes and also unclear as to the value this can bring.  With less than 100 days to go, organisations big and small are mobilising to reach the new levels of compliance expected but how many are actually seeing this as an opportunity to unlock the value that GDPR can present?

Central to GDPR are people and their data with the regulations aiming to give individuals greater powers of control over their information. In order to comply with the new legislative requirements, businesses should by now be critically evaluating both the need for and the requirements of the data they collect and by reviewing their current  'people, process and technology' systems, they should be looking to update and protect the same.   However being lost in the 'white noise' of confusion is the fact that within this process of re-evaluation by businesses, GDPR actually presents a whole host of benefits for businesses.  Let's consider just a few. 

Driving value through a 'Data Driven' culture

Research shows that data driven companies are much smarter, more agile, more efficient and potentially more profitable, however its surprising to note that over 80% of business data is actually going unused.  Further studies have highlighted the ongoing tendency for business leaders to rely heavily on perception rather than grounding decisions in actual data.  The dynamics of modern business are being heavily influenced by the current combinatorial effect of both the internet and our desire to be constantly connected with the result that we are seeing an explosion in data.  What this data is doing is giving us the potential for real time insight into new trends, shifting behaviours and changing needs and thus will help us create new opportunities.  However, relying heavily on perception means that we seek to rely on past experiences, emotions and information to shape the future without actually forensically evaluating what data we have and what it is actually telling us. 

As part of GDPR, the process of conducting data audits, critically evaluating and essentially 'tidying up' what data businesses have, can be an effective catalyst for Leaders to review business priorities and understand how the data they hold can support new opportunities.  Never before have we seen such a focus on reviewing and cleaning existing data sets and in doing so, using this to challenge previous perceptions can only serve to help optimise ongoing business performance.  In addition, GDPR is not Y2K.    GDPR serves to firmly put data at the heart of every business moving forward and in doing so, Leaders should take lessons learned from other data centric businesses and start to consider how to use this most important asset to gain better commercial advantage


Increased Customer Loyalty

Complying with GDPR sends a very clear message;  the Business is serious about looking after you and your data ie it can be trusted.  With trust being the very foundation of loyalty, it sends a very clear signal about security within the relationship.  After all, would you deal with anyone you don't trust?

Over the past few years we have seen dozens of examples of high profile data breaches and sadly for some organisations, they have been repeatedly in the public eye.  As the public become more aware of the new regulatory regimes and the requirements being laid at the feet of businesses, what will data breaches and incidents tell you about their brand?  

Whilst the regulatory consequences of not complying with the new legislation are well publicised and often used as a 'stick' to encourage' businesses to take GDPR seriously, how much consideration is given to the brand and reputational damage breaches and incidents will incur. With the UK/EU public waking up to the new regulatory regime, any unlawful data loss, destruction or alteration will now invariably receive significant public scrutiny and almost immediately, the brand and reputational damage is being done before any formal scrutiny from the relevant supervisory authority.  In some quarters, there is concern that GDPR /Data is the new 'PPI' time bomb.

Continuing to demonstrate that you value your Customers (and their data) and that you can be trusted to keep it secure will serve to underpin your brand values and can only help support ongoing loyalty.