Read about our views on marketplace changes as well as updates on our research and event programmes.

At our Explorers’ Club event last week we had a fascinating session mapping out the events and predictions from now until 2017 that will influence the development of the control shift and evolving consumer empowerment.

We honed in on just one aspect of the control shift – how personal data is managed, collected and used – and grouped predictions in terms of:

social and cultural changes;
corporate commercial activity;
entrepreneurial activity;
technology; and
legislation, regulation, policies, protocols and standards.

With 25 knowledgeable attendees – representing large corporations, small entrepreneurial businesses, suppliers of new personal information…

Phew! It has taken us six months but we got there in the end. Today (27 January), in the lead up to Data Protection Day (28th January) we’ve published new research assessing the privacy policies of the UK’s top 100 online retailers – the sector where many consumers most commonly experience the benefits and pitfalls of e-commerce.

We don’t think anyone has ever done this before and now we’ve got to the end, we’re not surprised. The project kicked off in the summer of 2011 when we started to think through an objective assessment of the state of the nation…

In this first issue of the year we highlight some of the proposals in the leaked draft of the European Data Protection legislation and we’ll give you a preview of our research looking at the privacy policies of UK online retailers. Also covered is our thinking as we debunk a few myths in a forthcoming series of blog posts ‘5 ways to misdirect resources in 2012’. In the market round-up we’re spoilt for choice but have picked out some of the key news.

EU law looks set to mandate electronic data handbacks

We are expecting to see the first draft…

Chris Nutt joins Ctrl-Shift

Posted: 18th January, 2012 | 0 comments

We're delighted to announce a new addition to the Ctrl-Shift team. Chris Nutt will be joining us at the beginning of February to help us develop our business.

Chris has a 20 year track record in helping organisations harness technology – mainly in the retail area – and so adds considerable experience to us. He has worked as a strategic advisor with some of the UK's most successful brands. His experience ranges from designing and implementing customer insight solutions through to the development and management of strategies for transforming multi-channel businesses.

We’re anticipating 2012 to be an exciting growth year…

Big Data, Big Dead End

Posted: 17th January, 2012 | 0 comments

‘Big Data’ seems well on its way to becoming the next big bandwagon. However, in the scheme of things I think it’s more like a Big Dead End.

Before saying why, let me first recognise where and how ‘Big Data’ is important.

Our society is transitioning from an ‘old normal’ of information scarcity to a ‘new normal’ where massive new data sets continue to come on stream. Just think of the volumes of data now being created in payments (the shift from cash to plastic to contactless and mobile payments systems), mobile (location data), online (search, click streams and the…

It’s one of the convenient fictions of the commercial world that businesses are full of clever, rational people making clever, rational decisions based on a hard, cold-eyed assessment of the facts.

Often, the reality is very different. People get distracted by fashions, trends and bandwagons. Their assessments of the relative importance of different factors are often faulty. Right now I can see five bandwagons which may be driven more by fashion than by importance. Each of them is fuelled by a large dose of truth/evidence. However, the way they’re currently being addressed, they actually serve to divert attention from even…

New digital identity service

Posted: 10th January, 2012 | 0 comments

Last week in our blog post on consumer empowerment trends in 2012 we predicted that managing personal reputation and identity will gain even greater prominence this year as people increasingly conduct and manage their lives online. The first significant development in this space took place yesterday when Miicard (which provides a digital passport to prove who you say you are) and Callcredit (one of the UK’s leading credit reference agencies) announced a strategic partnership. They are bringing to market a completely new consumer-friendly Electronic Identity and Verification (eID&V) service removing the need for paper based checks such as…

Consumer empowerment in 2012

Posted: 5th January, 2012 | 0 comments

So what trends will take shape in 2012 as the control shift continues in this era of consumer empowerment?

Consumers will continue to assert their ‘voice’ harnessing social media to organise themselves and share information. This level of active participation as people engage more vocally with organisations and each other is likely to grow and increase in momentum.

Using technology people will connect and collaborate in new ways causing disruption to established order. People’s shopping habits will continue the trend from ‘bricks’ to better-informed ‘clicks’. Consumers will be more active and demanding in their relationships with businesses; ‘I like this’ or…