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

Cutting to the chase

Posted: 27th February, 2012 | 0 comments

I was talking with someone over the weekend who suggested that when you meet somebody who is expert in a field you aren't familiar with, ask them to tell you the two things you need really need to know.

Applying this to the control shift I came up with the following.

1) Thanks to the information age, consumer empowerment is an inexorable trend which is taking many forms.

2) Empowering consumers opens up far more business opportunities than trying to control them.

Can anyone improve on that?

Alan Mitchell

Another step towards the control shift

Posted: 24th February, 2012 | 0 comments

The US Government’s planned new Privacy Bill of Rights marks a decisive moment in the control shift. The first clause and sentence effectively makes the first half of the control shift ‘official’. They read:

1 INDIVIDUAL CONTROL:  Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.

The only question now, is how far and how fast the control shift moves (the second, decisive, half being empowering individuals as managers of their own data).

One step forward …

Highly symbolic as it is however, the US Administration’s initiative is…

In this issue we highlight our forthcoming reports each of which delivers fresh insight into emerging markets. Also covered are some suggestions drawn from our recent research about what constitutes best practice in building positive, two-way data sharing customer relationships. The market round-up includes some of the key news this month.

Understanding growth markets

Over the next few months our research is focused on some of the new market opportunities emerging as a result of developments in the empowered consumer marketplace. Two new reports will provide evidence and analysis of the implications and possibilities created by developments across these different…

Multi-channel: multi-purpose?

Posted: 22nd February, 2012 | 0 comments

First came 'pure play' internet companies like Amazon and eBuy, then 'bricks and clicks' came along. Today, in retailing especially, online is about the only bright spot and for most customer facing companies 'multi-channel', face to face, phone, online, mobile, is now a must.

The challenges of multi-channel are well known. Customers increasingly expect to be able to jump seamlessly from one channel to another, but actually providing this seamless experience is a massive operational and data headache. Given the penalties for failing to achieve this (basically, loss of customers) and the contrasting upsides – a reputation for service plus…

BBC report on new EU legislation

Posted: 15th February, 2012 | 0 comments

The BBC’s report Do you have the right to be forgotten online gives a really good overview of the new European Data Protection legislation, its aims to put people back in control of their personal data and what it means for consumers. “Companies can’t go foraging for data in the wild and pretend that what they find is theirs. The big idea at the heart of the new directive is that personal data is...personal’.

The report features the great new video released by the European Commission this week warning people that they could be sharing more than they…

midata and the innovation opportunity

Posted: 15th February, 2012 | 0 comments

Following the recent London Green Hackathon, the winning hacks have now been announced. It’s inspiring to see what a few ingenious minds can create over a weekend using only data that’s freely available. When organisations start releasing customer data in a portable, reusable way (for example, as part of the Government's midata programme), innovative applications will offer much, much more. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills, which is running the midata programme, supported the Hackathon to get a flavour of just what kind of innovations the future could hold.

The data used in the hackathon…

Big Data vs Small Data

Posted: 10th February, 2012 | 0 comments

In theory, there need not be a contradiction between Big Data and privacy. If you take a medical record, bank account or individual's mobile phone location data you can remove all personal identifiers (name, address, customer number, IP address, mobile phone identifier) so that all you have is a bundle of attributes which you can crunch together to identify patterns and trends *.

Having identified a pattern or profile you can then match it back to an individual's data, to place the person in a segment, to predict what they might do next, or perhaps offer them 'people like you'…

EU data law's big strategic questions

Posted: 2nd February, 2012 | 0 comments

I have to say, I’m puzzled by the reaction so far to the EU proposed new regulations for data protection.

There’s been a lot of debate about a proposed new ‘right to be forgotten’. However, from what I read of the actual draft legislation, the ifs and buts of this new right mean its real impact could be pretty limited. There’s considerable corporate hand-wringing about the penalties for breaking the new law, but the proposed maximum fines would only apply to the most flagrant violations and be tested in the courts.

Hand-ringing about the cost of implementation is more interesting:…

Our home

Posted: 1st February, 2012 | 0 comments

Our office is in the West Wing of the spectacular Somerset House in central London.  Click here for a map.

The nearest mainline rail stations are:
Charing Cross, Waterloo and Blackfriars.

The nearest underground stations are:
Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment.

Buses servicing the Strand include numbers 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 77a, 91 and 176, and the River Bus Service can be taken to Embankment and Savoy piers.

Pedestrian access to Somerset House is available from Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge (via a footbridge link) or from the Strand.