Items tagged "VPI"

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

It’s really simple: personal data is valuable and useful to the people whose data it is.  Yes it’s valuable to organisations, but it’s also valuable to individuals who can use it to do the things that organisations do with data: generate insights, inform decisions, streamline and automate tasks and processes.

This way points to the creation of unique new data sets focused on each individual, new levels of data sharing driving a vast array of new private and public services.

This is the ‘Personal Information Economy’ discussed at our conference on Thursday March 20. At this buzzing event, we heard…

A new market has emerged for personal data management services (PDMS) that help individuals assert more control over how their data is collected and used. This market is now growing fast with more than one new launch a week over the last year and it is beginning to transform relationships between customers and brands, says our new research “Mapping the market for personal data management” launched today at our inaugural Personal Information Economy 2014 event.

Traditionally, companies collect data about customers and use this data for their own purposes. But this traditional approach is giving way to new relationships…

As part of European Data Protection week the EU announced that it expects its draft new proposals for data protection to be passed by the European parliament in April.

Many are sceptical – the lobbying around these proposals has been so intense there’s bound to be more twists and turns along the way, they argue.

Surprisingly, however, there’s been very little scrutiny into the assumptions behind both the lobbying, both for and against the proposals. The biggest assumption, which seems to be accepted largely by both sides, is that we have to make a choice between privacy or innovation and…

Intent casting is much talked about but little done. It’s the idea of consumers being able to express their intentions to the marketplace instead of being ‘targets’ for marketers’ messages.

Intently is an example of one of the pioneers of this concept. Users select a service and location and Intently finds relevant matches and sends out requests to them on the customer’s behalf. Founder Neil Harris told Ctrl-Shift how the business works and his plans for the future.

1. What’s the big benefit your service is designed to offer?

The biggest benefit is…

One step forward ...

Posted: 20th September, 2013 | 0 comments

Just back from the Digital Enlightenment Forum in Brussels where Ctrl-Shift were one of the plenary speakers.

A number of impressive people were there including Tim Berners Lee, Kim Cameron (of  ‘laws of identity’ fame), Robert Madeline (Director General of DG Connect of the European Commission), Peter Hustinx (the European Data Protection Supervisor) and Wlliam Hoffman (World Economic Forum).

What a difference a year makes! At one level, the Snowden revelations seem to have transformed the personal data landscape forever, raising big doubts about the trustworthiness of many Silicon Valley giants.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale,…

miiCard, which provides online identity verification services, has made a series of announcements over the last few weeks. Businesses and people are signing up for their user-centric identity service which uses the power of volunteered information to create breakthrough efficiencies and value for all parties.

We heard their news from CEO James Varga at a recent miiCard investor event. They are seeking investment to grow the business internationally. Ctrl-Shift’s Alan Mitchell was invited to provide an independent analysis of the evolving identity market and while we were there we caught up with James to ask him about the event…

An ad-free Internet?

Posted: 30th August, 2013 | 0 comments

An interesting article in the New York Times supports what we’ve been saying for some time. Today’s internet business model is supported by advertising which is driven by sellers trying to find buyers, reach out to them, and persuade them to buy. It’s a seller-centric model driven by sellers’ need to sell.

We think this model is tipping on its head, to become much more buyer-centric, driven by buyers trying to find the products, services and suppliers they want and make better decisions about their purchases.

Under this model the emphasis shifts from advertising to decision support. Fundamentally, it’s exactly…

A really interesting article by Internet Advertising Bureau President Randall Rothenburg has just gone up on its web site. I recommend you read it, not so much for its content but for its tone.

Just a few years ago the IAB’s tone was triumphant. It had discovered the secret of how to deliver perfect relevance and therefore solve the problems of advertising effectiveness forever. It had seen the future, and the future was it. Hurrah!

Now, if you read this blog, the shift in tone is remarkable. Using phrases like ‘kangaroo cookie court’ to describe Mozilla’s move…

How to value personal data?

Posted: 21st June, 2013 | 1 comments

The Financial Times’ recent exercise to help individuals value their data has caused something of a stir amongst those interested in personal data.

It’s unfortunate that, in a world where data is increasingly recognised as a critically important raw material, the FT chose to base its calculations on the one tiny corner of the data industry that’s facing a mortal threat: data broking.

Data brokers make their money out of selling individuals’ data. It’s mostly unpermissioned (therefore lacking social and consumer legitimacy), collected and used out of context (therefore not relevant), and devoid of utility (e.g. used for targeting…

To see just how vicious the privacy battle between Microsoft and Google is getting, take a look at Microsoft’s parody of Google’s latest ad campaign. It’s one minute of extraordinary content.

Of course Microsoft has its own commercial agenda. For example, it's desperate to persuade consumers to switch their default search engine from Google to Bing. But that’s the point. The issue of ‘privacy’ and personal data is no longer about some individuals’ sensitivity or squeamishness, abstract moral debates or arcane policy wrangles. It’s moving on. It’s now about money – big money – as brands realise that the…

Some interesting sessions at the DataIQ conference this week. My talk was on the theme ‘Where Personal Data Meets Big Data’. One meeting point takes the form of a clash: the requirements of Big Data and of personal data protection are at loggerheads. Big Data is all about collecting as much data as you can, keeping it as long as possible (to identify trends), and using the data for as many purposes as possible (because it’s all about discovering new patterns, correlations and insights).

Data protection rules on the other hand require informed consent for the collection and use…

New research published by Ctrl-Shift today (Breakthrough Efficiency Summary) today shows organisations could achieve dramatic cost savings/efficiency improvements by connecting to new businesses providing data services to individuals.

Organisations in both public and private sectors currently struggle with multiple, constant headaches when it comes to managing and using customer data. They struggle to keep their data up to date and accurate; with inefficiencies caused by inaccurate and partial data; with high costs of identity assurance and associated risks; with managing market research; and with over-reliance on paper-based rather than digital processes.

Now, however, new services that elicit…

As part of its Rethinking Personal Data project the World Economic Forum has just published its latest paper Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage.

One of the key passages reads as follows:

From passive consent to engaged individuals
“Organizations (the operations of which depend on a relationship of positive engagement with their customers) need to understand and accommodate the changing role of the individual by engaging with and empowering them. The individual was historically seen as a “data subject” – a passive consumer of products and services who was tracked for customer relationship management…

When Open Data meets personal data

Posted: 4th February, 2013 | 0 comments

 

A few years ago, as part of the Open Data movement, Transport for London begin releasing data about the movements of buses and tubes through London.

Big deal.  So what? What does it matter to most Londoners if the 137 Clapham Omnibus is running three minutes late at half past three on a Tuesday afternoon?

Well, it could matter a lot to those Londoners waiting for the 137 to arrive. And now, there are a wide range of apps that use this data to tell you. Simply pop your local bus stop and bus route into…

midata legislation begins

Posted: 11th January, 2013 | 0 comments

Last night the Government lodged an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulator Reform Bill in the House of Lords to give the midata programme legislative backing. The amendment enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to companies to provide to their customers (upon request) their personal historic transaction and/or consumption data in an electronic format.

At one level, the practical implications of this move are quite limited. Only a few sectors are directly involved (energy, mobile phone, current account and credit card suppliers) and most of them have been involved in the voluntary side of the midata programme…

When we researched the changing personal data landscape a year ago we identified two underlying trends.

Historically, organisations have acted as the data manager and user. But now individuals are becoming managers of their own data and using information as a tool in their own hands. These trends are creating a hotspot of innovation – aspects of which include midata data releases to individuals, personal data stores and PIMS (information management services that help individuals make better decisions and manage their lives better).

These trends are creating a dilemma for organisations. On the one hand, far-sighted…

When we researched the changing personal data landscape a year ago we identified two underlying trends.

Historically, organisations have acted as the data manager and user. But now individuals are becoming managers of their own data and using information as a tool in their own hands. These trends are creating a hotspot of innovation – aspects of which include midata data releases to individuals, personal data stores and PIMS (information management services that help individuals make better decisions and manage their lives better).

These trends are creating a dilemma for organisations. On the one hand, far-sighted…

I’ve just had a big picture theoretical article on the nature of brands and branding published in a special edition of the Jourmal of Brand Management on ‘The New World of Brand’.

The article looks at developments in technology, in economics and economic theory, and psychology to examine marketing theories about what brands do and explains why ‘brand as information service’ strategies are becoming essential for most brands.

The article examines an oddity in the way marketing currently works. Companies work hard to make products that meet customer needs and that customers are keen to buy. They also work…

midata hackathon

Posted: 24th November, 2012 | 0 comments

Last weeked (17-18 November) was a world first - the first time a new type of data set was created: where individuals gathered up data about their own lives from a range of different sources including their energy consumption data, shopping (if they could get the data), spending through their banks and credit cards and so on.

With full respect for the individuals' privacy, a posse of developers then got to work to see what innovative new services they could come up with. The results were fascinating: completely new services in energy and money; exciting new ways to help individuals…

Slowly but surely the various pieces of the new Personal Data Ecosystem jigsaw are falling into place. Actually, not that slowly. The pace is hotting up.

Today, at the Sibos conference in Osaka, Japan, Ctrl-Shift reports the results of a six month research project for SWIFT, the global financial payments provider. The research, which involved most of the world’s leading banks, investigates the business case for a new piece of infrastructure called the Digital Asset Grid (DAG) designed to facilitate secure, permission-based data sharing between different parties: organisations, individuals and even devices. Not to put too fine a point…

Just back from the World Economic Forum workshop in Brussels on ‘Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: Balancing Growth and Protection’.

The gist of WEF’s argument goes like this. Personal data is emerging as a hugely valuable economic asset – ‘the new oil’. Just like oil, if the value of this asset is to be realized it needs to flow, not remain stuck where it was created.  If personal data is flow, there must be trust and that means treating individuals less as passive data ‘subjects’ – the subject of organisations’ data gathering activities – and more as active…

Just back from the World Economic Forum workshop in Brussels on ‘Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: Balancing Growth and Protection’.

The gist of WEF’s argument goes like this. Personal data is emerging as a hugely valuable economic asset – ‘the new oil’. Just like oil, if the value of this asset is to be realized it needs to flow, not remain stuck where it was created.  If personal data is flow, there must be trust and that means treating individuals less as passive data ‘subjects’ – the subject of organisations’ data gathering activities – and more as active…

Tesco moves on midata

Posted: 2nd October, 2012 | 0 comments

Marketing magazine carries a story this week about a new job ad from Tesco for a Product Manager ‘My Data’.

The successful candidate, it says, “will define the strategy to develop and support the deployment of Group-wide capability to deliver market-leading products and games which give our Clubcard customers simple, useful, fun access to their own data to help them plan and achieve their goals.”

There we have it: the paradigm shift in personal/customer data grasped and understood by the country’s biggest retailer. Not only can customer data be used to help organisations achieve their goals, it can also…

Reinventing advertising

Posted: 20th September, 2012 | 0 comments

This week’s issue of Marketing Magazine carries a cover story written by me called ‘Beyond Advertising: Why Consumer Services Is Trumping Traditional Marketing’.

The key passage in the article goes like this:
"The simplest and most important driver of change is the basic fact of the information age. Not long ago – the pre-internet era of three TV stations for example – information/content was relatively scarce and available consumer attention was abundant. But now we’ve entered an era of information overload and clutter and the tables have turned. Power is shifting from the content/information provider to the attention owner.

Reinventing advertising

Posted: 20th September, 2012 | 0 comments

This week’s issue of Marketing Magazine carries a cover story written by me called ‘Beyond Advertising: Why Consumer Services Is Trumping Traditional Marketing’.

The key passage in the article goes like this:
"The simplest and most important driver of change is the basic fact of the information age. Not long ago – the pre-internet era of three TV stations for example – information/content was relatively scarce and available consumer attention was abundant. But now we’ve entered an era of information overload and clutter and the tables have turned. Power is shifting from the content/information provider to the attention owner.

In this summer issue we cover our forthcoming research schedule, an update on the midata consultation and some new start-ups.

Ctrl-Shift research

Increasingly, we’re being asked many of the the same questions about the emerging personal data market so we’re focusing our forthcoming Autumn/Winter research reports on developing answers to them.

In a world drowning in data, what infrastructure, rules and commercial models enable the right information to be shared at the right time with the right people? This information logistics challenge is easy to talk about but hard to do. Our forthcoming report on Information Logistics will…

Why legislate on midata?

Posted: 7th August, 2012 | 0 comments

As some of you may know, Ctrl-Shift has been acting as a strategic advisors to the UK Government’s midata programme. Now the pace is accelerating decisively with the Government’s move to give UK consumers additional statutory rights to their data in portable electronic form.

Of course, decisions like this are political and made by ministers. We weren’t party to the political discussions. But from the specific perspective of midata itself here are some reasons why this initiative is a good move.

Consumer Minister Norman Lamb notes in his introduction to the consultation midata has made significant progress over the last…

Competing for customer loyalty

Posted: 1st August, 2012 | 0 comments

Loyal customers are the bedrock of business and the benefits of loyalty are well understood. But what does customer loyalty actually mean in today’s changing environment, what are the drivers and factors that determine loyalty, and what are the opportunities for those who are getting it right?

These are the key questions we are asking as we initiate a board level strategic study into the changes affecting customer loyalty in banking. Here’s a little more about what we are doing and why.

The shifting sands of customer loyalty

Loyalty currently suffers from confused terminology. People use the ‘L’ word to…

The Government has announced its intention to give consumers the statutory right to obtain an electronic copy of data companies hold about them, so that they can use this data for their own purposes. This is a game changing move, dramatically extending the reach of the midata programme from its previous focus of energy, banking and telcos to, potentially, all major companies holding customer data.

Ongoing debate

Some companies are likely to react negatively, arguing that the new right would be a ‘burden on business’. But the Government is rightly linking the move closely to a growth agenda. Introducing…

In this issue we highlight the findings of our study into the impact of new services using Volunteered Personal Information, an insight into developments in the ‘Internet of Things’, and that we looking for someone new to join our team.

Don’t target me...ask me

We’ve just finished some research looking at a group of services that that use Volunteered Personal Information (VPI) to provide relevant content - offers, recommendations and adverts. In our study, sponsored by nFluence Media, three new services, Visual DNA, Dealboard and Hunch, were stacked up against loyalty schemes, global brands like Amazon, Facebook and Google,…

Don't target me, ask me

Posted: 24th July, 2012 | 0 comments

We've been pondering some mega-trends on this site for some while.

1. The rise in the volumes of data available (so called Big Data).

2. The lack of efficiency in the advertising model.

3. How technology is now literally in the hands of the customer.

Each is a driver of change and combined they create a massive opportunity for a re-alignment of the relationship between buyers and sellers. Understanding how to illicit and use Volunteered Personal Information (VPI) is at the heart of being able to do this. But in order for the far reaching opportunities of VPI to be realised, people have to take time to contribute…

Don't target me, ask me

Posted: 24th July, 2012 | 0 comments

We've been pondering some mega-trends on this site for some while.

1. The rise in the volumes of data available (so called Big Data).

2. The lack of efficiency in the advertising model.

3. How technology is now literally in the hands of the customer.

Each is a driver of change and combined they create a massive opportunity for a re-alignment of the relationship between buyers and sellers. Understanding how to illicit and use Volunteered Personal Information (VPI) is at the heart of being able to do this. But in order for the far reaching opportunities of VPI to be realised, people have to take time to contribute…

I've been catching up a little on underlying theories of information. Here’s what I found.

James Gleick, who also wrote Chaos, is a brilliant writer. His book The Information, is a fascinating read but is ultimately disappointing because everything he says is based on theories of Claude Shannon.

Shannon was a brilliant engineer who did much to make today’s information age possible. As an engineer he was focused on getting a message from A to B as accurately and efficiently as possible. He didn’t care what it said. So his theory of information said that to measure information all…

Today marks an important milestone in the personal data landscape. The US based Respect Network – which has developed the award winning Respect Trust Framework enabling members to securely share identity and personal data – has announced two major corporate founding partners, leading global technology company Neustar and telecoms giant Swisscom.

It’s an important development for two reasons.

Firstly, it means that the concept of a Vendor Relationship Management network, one that connects people to people and people to companies in a trusted, two way information contract, has taken a major step towards market availability. It is the first global,…

Media's perfect storm

Posted: 12th July, 2012 | 0 comments

One of the sessions at the recent World Economic Forum Tiger Team meeting in London focused on rethinking advertising. This session made it absolutely clear: traditional media companies – in TV and press in particular – need to reinvent their business models.

The control shift gives them an opportunity to do so.

The story so far

Advertising funded 20th century media companies were hugely successful. There were many combinations and permutations: high reliance on display advertising vs high reliance on classified advertising; free vs a cover price. But underneath the nuances the model was pretty simple: advertising funded journalism, journalism attracted…

Media's perfect storm

Posted: 12th July, 2012 | 0 comments

One of the sessions at the recent World Economic Forum Tiger Team meeting in London focused on rethinking advertising. This session made it absolutely clear: traditional media companies – in TV and press in particular – need to reinvent their business models.

The control shift gives them an opportunity to do so.

The story so far

Advertising funded 20th century media companies were hugely successful. There were many combinations and permutations: high reliance on display advertising vs high reliance on classified advertising; free vs a cover price. But underneath the nuances the model was pretty simple: advertising funded journalism, journalism attracted…

Privacy as a personal setting

Posted: 9th July, 2012 | 0 comments

At the recent World Economic Forum Tiger Team meeting in London I gave a short presentation on the commercial opportunities opened up by empowering individuals with data. (If you want a copy of the presentation, please get in touch).

I outlined four unfolding trends:

Information as a tool in the hands of the individual – a ‘phase change’ (as WEF’s William Hoffman put it) from the old status quo where information was almost exclusively a tool in the hands of the organisation.
Individuals as managers of their own data. This is driving the rise of new…

Privacy as a personal setting

Posted: 9th July, 2012 | 0 comments

At the recent World Economic Forum Tiger Team meeting in London I gave a short presentation on the commercial opportunities opened up by empowering individuals with data. (If you want a copy of the presentation, please get in touch).

I outlined four unfolding trends:

Information as a tool in the hands of the individual – a ‘phase change’ (as WEF’s William Hoffman put it) from the old status quo where information was almost exclusively a tool in the hands of the organisation.
Individuals as managers of their own data. This is driving the rise of new…

Last week we published our report on the key market of identity assurance. We estimate that it is worth more than £280m in 2011 and will grow to £360m in 2014. One of the key drivers of this growth is the public sector. Driven by a desire that government should be 'digital by default', the government is now working on series of projects based on the premise that a citizen-centric identity assurance service could be a far more effective process.

The government aims to save money over the next three years, but instead of re-inventing the wheel, it is…

The pricing shift

Posted: 22nd June, 2012 | 0 comments

Interesting! According to an article in the latest edition of Harvard Business Review most companies' approach to pricing is 'antagonistic' to customers. Seeing pricing purely in terms of how to maximise revenues from each transaction, companies routinely put their customers' backs up, undermining relationships and, over time, their own businesses, warns pricing strategy expert Marco Bertini from London Business School.

Airlines offer a classic example of antagonistc pricing: a misleading headline price followed by extra, late-in-the-day charges for baggage, leg room, using a credit card, and so on. If you read economics textbooks this may be a perfect means…

In this newsletter we cover our new report on the identity assurance market, hot off the press this week. We also give you a preview of our forthcoming research on customer loyalty, an update on the recent World Economic Forum Re-thinking Personal Data meeting in London, and close with a smattering of market news.

Ctrl-shift research

Identity assurance. We’ve now published our report on the UK identity assurance market. We think that the path the Government is on, a truly citizen-centric one, could cause serious disruption in the long-term. Even in the short-term the money being put into the…

WEF 'Tiger Team' meeting

Posted: 13th June, 2012 | 0 comments

Tomorrow a group of specially invited experts and leaders from across the emerging personal data landscape meet in London to discuss and review the latest outputs from the World Economic Forum’s Re-thinking Personal Data project. There will be contributors, who we have helped to bring together, from the telecoms, retail, financial services, media, advertising, government and technology sectors, comprising a mix of commercial, legal/policy and technical functions.

This international ‘Tiger Team’, managed by STL Partners with the support of other members of the Re-thinking Personal Data project team, will tackle some of the priority issues raised in WEF’s recent…

Microsoft’s decision to set ‘do not track’ as the default option is another game changer in the fast moving world of the control shift.

It does two things.

First, it forces the other browser providers to respond. What will Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari do now? Whatever their response, Microsoft is forcing them to grapple publicly with a central control shift theme: should information be a tool in the hands of the individual, or a tool in the hands of people who gather information about individuals?

More specifically, what are browsers for? Is it their job to help…

The following is a guest post by Alan published yesterday by Wired.

I love TED but when it introduced its TEDGlobal 2012 theme of "radical openness" something it said gave me the jitters. Radical openness, it declared with apparently consummate confidence, "implies a loss privacy".

Ah! The great P word. Scott McNealy famously declared "you have zero privacy anyway -- get over it". Eric Schmidt told us that anyone concerned about online privacy "had something to hide". But privacy isn't dying. It's being reinvented. It was 120 years ago that Harvard Lawyers Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeisfirst suggested

In this newsletter we cover the latest global and local developments in the personal information market. We trail our next report on Identity Assurance, already a £300m market, and give a round-up of the month's news.

Unfolding developments

The market for personal information has changed significantly, even in the last month, and we are delighted to see a whole series of exciting developments.

In our report on personal data stores (PDS) we’ve looked at the possibility that there could be as many as 100m examples of personal data handbacks in the UK this year. We predict that over…

May 26 is an important date for UK websites and businesses. As from then, all businesses have to comply with the so-called Cookie law. The essence of this law is that users must be asked for their consent before cookies are used. We’ve wrestled with the practical implications of how to do this and this post sets out our thoughts.

Let’s get the important, but dull, points out of the way. The law is the law and you have to comply. We are neither lawyers nor experts so you shouldn’t assume these thoughts constitute legal advice. The law applies…

Last week I met with some people from a large high street retailer, reviewing the company's strategy over the next five years. We talked about where the customer/personal data landscape would be by then. This is a summary of what I said.

1. A significant (and growing) number of customers will be using personal data stores or equivalent services to help them manage their own personal information.  Many of these will be companies’ most valuable customers.

2. Customers will expect the companies they deal with to provide complete access to their customer data e.g. what they bought, when, for how…

Last week I met with some people from a large high street retailer, reviewing the company's strategy over the next five years. We talked about where the customer/personal data landscape would be by then. This is a summary of what I said.

1. A significant (and growing) number of customers will be using personal data stores or equivalent services to help them manage their own personal information.  Many of these will be companies’ most valuable customers.

2. Customers will expect the companies they deal with to provide complete access to their customer data e.g. what they bought, when, for how…

About a year ago, the World Economic Forum produced a report talking about personal data as 'a new asset class'. Some said it is 'the new oil' energising and greasing the wheels of the information age. But personal data isn't a traditional asset like oil in two critical respects.

First, when we collect, refine, process and use oil it has no feelings about that matter. But personal data - which is about persons - is different. Persons care about how their data is collected, refined and used and by whom. They want to have a say in the matter.

Second, the 'asset'…

The Intention Economy

Posted: 8th May, 2012 | 0 comments

“Customer power will be personal, not just collective. Each customer will come to market equipped with his or her own means for collecting and storing personal data, expressing demand, making choices, setting preferences, proffering terms of engagement, offering payments, and participating in relationships - whether those relationships are shallow or deep, and whether they last for moments or years. Those means will be standardised. No vendor will control them.”

This paragraph sums up the subject matter of Doc Searls' new book The Intention Economy - and the trend towards 'VRM' or Vendor Relationship Management.

I'll do a proper review…

It’s an old economist’s saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch and in most cases this is true.

But there is one situation where it isn’t. If you can avoid or eliminate waste – i.e free up resources (time, money, materials) that were previously being eaten up doing something – then you may not be getting a free lunch but it’s pretty close to one: suddenly, miraculously, you have resources available when before you didn’t.

The good news is that our economy is riddled with waste. We therefore have a massive ‘free lunch’ resource liberation opportunity.…

It has been a busy month where we have attended and hosted several events. They highlight the way that public opinion, technology, regulatory and commercial pressures are all lining up to unleash a sea change in the personal data landscape. What’s also becoming clear is that the UK is leading the world in giving individuals control over their data. In this issue we’ll tell you about these events, our new research and a smattering of market news.

A £1bn opportunity?

Our latest research (to be published on Monday April 30) is a comprehensive review of all the players in the…

It has been a busy month where we have attended and hosted several events. They highlight the way that public opinion, technology, regulatory and commercial pressures are all lining up to unleash a sea change in the personal data landscape. What’s also becoming clear is that the UK is leading the world in giving individuals control over their data. In this issue we’ll tell you about these events, our new research and a smattering of market news.

A £1bn opportunity?

Our latest research (to be published on Monday April 30) is a comprehensive review of all the players in the…

The future of advertising

Posted: 20th April, 2012 | 0 comments

Interesting article on the BBC Technology web site (which, by the way, seems to be turning itself into an advertorial platform for big technology companies).

It’s called ‘Going Digital: The Future of Advertising’ and it’s by Andy Hart, general manager of Microsoft’s advertising and online division.

What’s fascinating, and puzzling, is what it doesn’t say as much as what it does. Here are the key sentences.
“The future of advertising isn't just about technology: people are also driving it (as they always have, of course, but in a far more profound and dynamic way than before).
“As…

There is now a healthy debate raging about the relative merits of Big Data versus Small Data, with some excellent stuff being written about the importance of small (i.e. personal) data.

Take these thoughts from Personal CEO Shane Green.

“Small data puts the power and tools of big data into the hands of people. It is based on the assumption that people have a significant long-term competitive advantage over companies and governments at aggregating and curating the best and most complete set of structured, machine-readable data about themselves and their lives – the “golden copy”. With proper tools,…

Google's slow-mo train crash

Posted: 10th April, 2012 | 0 comments

A fascinating letter to investors by Google CEO Larry Page. Here is a key passage:

“Understanding identity and relationships can also help us improve search. Today, most search results are generic, so two strangers sitting next to each other in a café will get very similar answers. Yet everyone’s life experiences are unique. We are all knowledgeable about different things; we have different interests and our preferences—for music, food, vacations, sports, movies, TV shows, and especially people—vary enormously.”

“Imagine how much better search would be if we added… you. Say you’ve been studying computer science for awhile like me,…

Is more data always better?

Posted: 30th March, 2012 | 4 comments

One of the pushbacks we get when talking to marketers about VPI (Volunteered Personal Information) goes like this: “Oh no! You are talking about yet another source of data. I’m already awash with data! In fact I’ve got so much data that I don’t know what to do with it! Now you are asking me to take on even more!”

In fact, what we are suggesting is something far more radical – and simple. Marketers find themselves awash with lots of useless data because they haven’t got the few special bits of data they really need.

To communicate effectively with…

Big Data or God Quest?

Posted: 27th March, 2012 | 0 comments

During the heydays of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) some companies began to suffer a dangerous delusion. Bedazzled by the enormous potential of the transaction and behavioural data they were now collecting (think Tesco Clubcard), they began to believe they were on the verge of knowing all they needed to know about their customers. Some even began to boast that they knew what their customers were going to do before the customers themselves.

They had fallen for the God Quest – the quest for omniscience. Perfect  customer information was just around the corner, they believed. With perfect information would come perfect…

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…

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…

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:…

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…

Big Data, Big Dead End

Posted: 17th January, 2012 | 3 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…

Lean and consumer empowerment

Posted: 21st December, 2011 | 0 comments

A video of a talk I gave recently to a conference of lean practitioners has just gone up on YouTube. In it I discuss two themes.

First I argue that, as individuals emerge as managers of their own data and with voice – the ability to express their plans, preferences and specifications to suppliers – the lean goals of making exactly to demand and getting things right first time on time can now be taken to a new level.

There are two ways of thinking about lean. The first, traditional factor, treats ‘the customer’ as an out-there exogenous factor:…

Milestones in the control shift

Posted: 15th December, 2011 | 0 comments

So much has happened and changed in 2011 and the control shift is well underway. We've captured below some of the significant milestones that have unfolded this year with links to the relevant news items taken from our Market Watch.

Consumer empowerment

Consumer habits are rapidly changing driven by technology and use of social media. Consumers are becoming hyper connected and active participants in markets and they are recognising the power of acting collectively (think Occupy London). They are changing their shopping habits: according to Reevoo’s research nearly 90% of respondents would not purchase a product before reading others’…

Spring 2012 research schedule

Posted: 1st December, 2011 | 0 comments

We're now planning our next research reports and we'd like your input.

We're already committed to two reports (see below) and would like to choose two more from the options list. Feedback very welcome.

Privacy comparisons. Which of the top 100 e-commerce e-tailers has the best privacy policy and which has the worst?

Decision-making market. As a follow-on from our work on personal information management services (PIMS), we look at the broad scope of suppliers in this market and chart what benefits consumers get from making better decisions.

Options for early 2012 -

The Personal Data Store (PDS) market.…

Playing down good news isn’t something one expects from politicians these days, but there’s at least one real driver for growth buried in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement. In it he announced new Open Data measures, and this signals a battery of initiatives that will present new and exciting opportunities to outperform our decreased growth forecast. According to the Cabinet Office the measures will, ‘open up public sector data to make travel easier and healthcare better, and create significant growth for industry and jobs in the UK.’ More Open Data will ‘allow entrepreneurs to develop useful applications for business and consumers’.…

The new personal data landscape

Posted: 22nd November, 2011 | 1 comments

At our recent event ‘To hoard or to share: midata and the personal data-sharing revolution’ Alan Mitchell discussed the Government’s midata programme in the broader context of changes to the personal data landscape. We’ve now published a report on the New Personal Data Landscape that identifies these transformational trends, highlights the emerging market for new personal data management services and analyses the opportunities and threats for organisations.

For the last fifty years organisations have had a monopoly on the collection and use of customer data. But this is changing. Individuals are starting to collect and manage their…

Our midata event takes place tomorrow and we wanted to say thank you to our sponsors Mydex and Callcredit for supporting us. Both organisations provide revolutionary services embracing and underpinning the new personal data landscape.

Tom Ilube from Callcredit will be giving an update at the event on Noddle a ‘poster child’ of midata. The service simply turns the existing personal credit rating on its head. Usual practice for credit reports is that they are requested by the credit provider at the end of a sales process. But when it is launched later this year, Noddle will allow any…

midata news coverage

Posted: 4th November, 2011 | 0 comments

There's been quite a lot of news coverage of the midata launch - which is about time given its potential long term significance.

The BBC has a vox pop from midata chair Prof Nigel Shadbolt.

The Wall Street Journal asks some pertinent questions about how these ideas need to be packaged and presented.

The FT reports on Ctrl-Shift's estimate that the first round of midata could involve 20 million individuals.

Ctrl-Shift's press release about midata identified three new and very large growth markets made possible by midata.  The very existence of these markets has been rendered invisible…

This month’s issue includes an update on our midata event and the great speakers who are lining up to make this unmissable and a request for your input on a new project we are working on for Consumer Focus. This is followed by some good examples of consumer empowerment in Market news.

To hoard or to share: midata and the personal data sharing revolution

On Monday 17 October, we saw the first significant announcement of the Government's midata programme. The big six energy companies announced their intention to give consumers their energy usage data to help them to…

The penny begins to drop

Posted: 30th September, 2011 | 0 comments

It's lonely sometimes when something seems blindingly obvious to you but other people just don't seem to get what you are talking about. Over the last ten years, I've felt like that quite often when talking about personal data empowerment.

Now there's a little straw in the wind that others, such as Forrester, are beginning to get it.

They've just produced a new report which says that consumers' growing digital footprint and growing concerns about data security plus awareness that marketers are using this data for financial gain means that they "increasingly want to know when data about them…

We’ve witnessed some interesting developments in the control shift this month and you can see a round-up of these in Market news. Also in this issue we’ll update you on our forthcoming mydata event, highlight our continuing exploration of the ramifications of the emerging market for decision-making services, and outline the plans for our Autumn/Winter research programme.
A radical shift of power

Within a few years, all organisations and companies holding customer data in the UK will be involved in releasing their data back to their customers encouraged by the Government’s mydata programme. And this radical shift isn’t…

Autumn 2011 research programme

Posted: 5th September, 2011 | 0 comments

We're now planning our Autumn research programme and are looking for input on the top three projects and some suggestions for what we should cover in early 2012.

October - PIMS 2 - the personal information management market

This report is about the market that changes markets - how third party vendors are helping consumers work across markets.

Building on Ctrl-Shift’s 2010 initial foray into this market, the report is focused on how services are being built to allow consumers to keep information about themselves in one easy to manage place. The report will include updates on Mint, MoneyStrands, Google…

Autumn 2011 research programme

Posted: 5th September, 2011 | 0 comments

We're now planning our Autumn research programme and are looking for input on the top three projects and some suggestions for what we should cover in early 2012.

October - PIMS 2 - the personal information management market

This report is about the market that changes markets - how third party vendors are helping consumers work across markets.

Building on Ctrl-Shift’s 2010 initial foray into this market, the report is focused on how services are being built to allow consumers to keep information about themselves in one easy to manage place. The report will include updates on Mint, MoneyStrands, Google…

The opportunity of the century

Posted: 2nd September, 2011 | 0 comments

In her last blog, Liz suggested that the development of a new industry of Personal Information Management Services (PIMS) could be the way (or at least, one way) we avoid the prospect of decades of stagflation. Let’s flesh this argument out a little.

 

As often happens, when a massive untapped need meets a previously unrecognised economic potential, many people fail to see the scale of the opportunity. So I’ll stick my neck out. I think we on the foothills of the biggest ever consumer market and industry – an engine of innovation and growth that will keep…

Innovating out of stagnation

Posted: 31st August, 2011 | 0 comments

Innovating out of stagnation is the only way out of our current economic situation. Utilising and capitalising on the vast untapped wealth of information now available is one of the key areas for focus argues a succession of business thinkers. Enter the Control Shift.

One can look at the global economic situation and think that there is no hope for creating new opportunities and just to knuckle down, keep your head down and keep doing the same but with less. Or worse, to respond with the complacency that a few fiscal cuts and shoring-up the banks will be enough too…

An evolving market

Posted: 25th August, 2011 | 0 comments

Helping people make better decisions is becoming a new market in its own right: with the new tools and services, based on new types of business model, offering different types of value, and competing around different things. But just how big and important is this market?

Here are two ways of thinking about this question.

First, what proportion of the population need/want to make better decisions, and how often? Hmmm. That looks like everybody, every day – from the most trivial decisions to the most life-changing: a pretty big market in other words. (In fact, we’re looking at the…

Just come across the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee’s report on Government’s use of IT. Entitled “recipe for rip-offs: time for a new approach” it covers lots of things but one in particular struck my eye.

Here are its conclusions on the specific issue of Personal Data Ownership.

“Giving control of personal data to the individual has the potential to improve data quality while reducing both costs and risks. Individuals are used to controlling their own data with private sector companies, such as Amazon and with utility companies.
Moving to a model where the citizen maintains…

mydata: a progress update

Posted: 21st July, 2011 | 0 comments

The government’s mydata programme is gaining good momentum. This week members of the mydata Working Group, including large corporations from both energy and finance sectors and representatives from consumer groups and regulatory organisations, met for a workshop. Organisations from the telecoms and retail sectors meet next week.

First on the workshop agenda was the mydata Charter and principles for all participating organisations to sign up to. These were agreed in outline and will now be honed and finalised before being published in the autumn, with, hopefully, at least 20 companies signed up.  A formal announcement is planned for October when…

Instead of establishing a huge, centralised National Identity Scheme, the Government wants to establish a decentralised market of competing private sector identity providers. Each will provide an identity assurance service, so that public sector and other providers can be confident of the identity of the person they are dealing with. For some organisations, the Identity Assurance Programme offers a straightforward business opportunity to become an Identity Provider.

Ctrl-Shift's briefing on this new programme reveals that if the new approach works it should bring three major benefits:

• Reduced risk and lower costs for both organisations and individuals via standardised processes…

mydata: we''re off!

Posted: 10th June, 2011 | 1 comments

Just finished two intensive days of meetings with a wide range of companies at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Purpose: to set the mydata ball rolling.

 

Mydata is a Government Consumer Empowerment initiative to encourage companies to release the data they hold on individuals back to them in a portable re-usable form, so that these individuals can use this information for their own purposes. Ctrl-Shift has been helping BIS get the project off the ground.

 

A couple of things struck me from these meetings.

 

First, mydata is an immense opportunity for large…

We are setting out to track the ‘control shift’ through a tracking survey that will, over time, provide evidence of which changes are unnfolding, where, at what pace, with what impacts and implications. Our initial research is now available and it sets a benchmark to track that progress.

The research is based on a GB representative sample of nearly 1500 consumers surveyed in April 2011. Fieldwork was conducted between 28 April and 5 May 2011, with 1464 adults responding.

After the raw data was collated (data tables are available), Ctrl-Shift analysed the data to draw its conclusions. The analysis looks…

The Ctrl-Shift Explorers' Club met on May 12 to share experiences and understanding of the changing consumer market place. It was an eclectic mix. Attendees included large corporations and small businesses; public and private sectors; different vertical markets; and suppliers of marketing services and the creators of some of the new tools available to consumers.

The event had plenty of time for discussion around a number of topics we've been researching including

The Government’s ‘mydata’ initiative - what the paper says, what the implications are, and what companies should do to take advantage of the hidden radicalism in this…

May newsletter

Posted: 6th May, 2011 | 0 comments

The May newsletter covers the Government's mydata, a Europe wide assessment of consumer empowerment, a market round-up and to plug your chance to meet the Control Shift team next week.
The Government’s mydata initiative - covered in our last newsletter -  is moving to its next stage. We’re glad to announce that Ctrl-Shift will be working with Department of Business Innovation and Skills as a member of the Project Board to set up the programme of work and make the strategy a reality.

The initiative aims to encourage companies holding customer data to release the data back…

The Government’s new programme 'Better Choices: Better Deals' represents a significant acceleration in the trend towards consumer empowerment. They even call it a ‘Consumer Empowerment Strategy’. We’ve prepared a mydata briefing on what this means for organisations. It’s free!

 

The announcement is a first on two fronts:

1) Its ‘mydata’ programme encourages companies to release data they hold about individuals back to them, so that they can use this data for their own purposes. This is the first major Government initiative, globally, towards a changed personal data consensus: personal data is a personal asset, and individuals should have…

Government's Mydata strategy

Posted: 12th April, 2011 | 0 comments

Today the Government launched its new Better Choices: Better Deals Consumer Empowerment strategy, of which Mydata is a key part.

 

Mydata is an initiative to encourage businesses to release data back to individuals in a portable re-usable way - so that the data becomes a useful resource for the individual as well as for the company.

 

This is a landmark move towards personal information empowerment.  Ctrl-Shift attended a special Roundtable at No 10 Downing Street as part of the consultations around this proposal. I was asked to give a short presentation. Here is what I said:
 

We're still progressing our thinking on how to provide the consumer side of the evidence of the control shift. Thanks to those who commented on the original (either on site or via email). We are now close to our final questions (see below). We're looking to get these out on a survey before Easter and reporting back at our Explorers' Club in May.
______________________________________________________________________________ 

Our Questions:

Trend: information as a tool in the hands of the individual (decision-making)

1. When making a non-routine purchase, the first thing I do is seek out independent information…

I’ve just been reading the World Economic Forum’s report Personal Data: The Emergence of New Asset Class.

 

Here are some of the key points in the report.  First, it highlights the vast amounts of personal data that are now being generated and that this data (‘digital data created by and about people’) “is generating a new wave of opportunity for economic and societal value creation.”

 

It continues: “Increasing the control that individuals have over the manner in which their personal data is collected, managed and shared will spur a host of new services and applications. As some…

I’ve just been reading the World Economic Forum’s report Personal Data: The Emergence of New Asset Class.

 

Here are some of the key points in the report.  First, it highlights the vast amounts of personal data that are now being generated and that this data (‘digital data created by and about people’) “is generating a new wave of opportunity for economic and societal value creation.”

 

It continues: “Increasing the control that individuals have over the manner in which their personal data is collected, managed and shared will spur a host of new services and applications. As some…

Tracking the control shift

Posted: 29th March, 2011 | 2 comments

We're about to start our longest ever project - one that we think will take us to 2020 and maybe beyond. And we need your help.

We're setting out on a simple task: to track the change in control from provider to buyer. Much has already happened but much more is still to come. We want to be able to provide evidence of that change. We're already looking at what companies are doing and how their behaviours and practices are changing.

Now it is time for the consumer or buyer to have their say. We're going to be running a…

40 Ways to Engage with your Customers

People use the words ‘Customer Engagement’ to mean all sorts of things, so we talked to a wide range of businesses to see what's actually happening.

Something more profound than just channel change is happening. New, digital, ways of engaging with customers are:

bypassing traditional gatekeepers to customers such as retailers and media owners,
creating new, direct connections with customers for brands previously without a direct customer relationship,
opening up opportunities to add new forms of value for customers,
creating simultaneous opportunities for organisations to elicit valuable information from…

Next Gen CRM

Posted: 17th March, 2011 | 0 comments

More than 50% of marketers think that opt-in customers are now less willing than they were in the past, to allow them to use the data they have provides, says new research from Ctrl-Shift.

"Next Gen CRM" is a new report that examines the current landscape of customer relationship management (CRM) activity to identify where investment in customer information is taking place and what lessons can be learnt by those responsible for managing customer relationships. Based on 50 interviews with current practitioners, it seems that the decade long drive for CRM and data shows no signs of abating. Worryingly,…

We've been researching the market for personal data stores as a key component of the changing market. But we realised in January that we were partly looking for the wrong thing. Staring us right in the face was the emergence of a "new" consumer service - personal information management services, PIMS. Examples of PIMS being launched just this month are Lloyds' Money Manager and a similar idea being announced by Confused.com.

Our report shows the power of PIMS to shift the balance of control, trust and value towards consumers and away from producers, vendors and service providers is inexorable –…

Reflections on data

Posted: 16th March, 2011 | 0 comments

Thanks to the DMA for an excellent conference on 16 March. We were speaking - more on that anon - but also being a delegate, it was a chance to listen. It seemed as though there are two audiences. First up are the marketers - who were interested in how they could better use data they already have. Second were the compliance officers, who seemed more interested in protecting their asset. There was some sense that the two groups have reached a concordat - what is that we can get away with yet stay on the right side of the…

Are you VPI ready? Take the test

Posted: 2nd December, 2010 | 0 comments

To help organisations assess their VPI readiness, we’ve developed a free Readiness Test. It only takes 15 minutes to complete. Try it! It will help you set a benchmark to help you monitor your progress towards a world where you and your customers genuinely work together.

VPI is information that only individuals know, which they could share with organisations if they saw good reason to. (For a 5 minute introduction to the essentials of VPI, get our free Briefing from here).

VPI is certainly an opportunity for organisations, but it’s also a challenge.…

Are you VPI ready? Take the test

Posted: 2nd December, 2010 | 0 comments

To help organisations assess their VPI readiness, we’ve developed a free Readiness Test. It only takes 15 minutes to complete. Try it! It will help you set a benchmark to help you monitor your progress towards a world where you and your customers genuinely work together.

VPI is information that only individuals know, which they could share with organisations if they saw good reason to. (For a 5 minute introduction to the essentials of VPI, get our free Briefing from here).

VPI is certainly an opportunity for organisations, but it’s also a challenge.…

With personal health records from the likes of Google and Microsoft heralding the beginning of a new information enabled era, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical company) has been rethinking how to tackle one of the world's best known killers: HIV. Instead of taking a ‘more drugs' approach, they are helping patients live healthier, longer via tailored personalized information about their treatment, based on information they volunteer - what we'd call Volunteered Personal Information.

The service is still in its early stages - the business benefits have yet to be specifically tied down (see below). That said, the general direction of…