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midata news coverage

Posted on: Friday 4th of November 2011

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 by organisation-centric assumptions which prompt us always to look in one direction, and never in another.

The three ‘invisible’ markets, as outlined in the press release,  are:

“Invisible market 1: managing personal data
The market for services that help organisations gather, store, analyse and use customer data is estimated to be worth in excess of $800bn, according to Forrester. But as Consumer Affairs Minister Ed Davey pointed out in today’s press conference, “Currently, most consumer data is held by service providers, meaning only one side of the customer-business relationship is empowered with the tools of information management.” Empowering the other side of the relationship – individuals – with tools of information management is a new growth market.”

“Invisible market 2: joining up the dots
Today, each organisation collects data about its own customers, which means that data about each individual is dispersed across hundreds of different organisations – none of which can see the full picture. If they try to share customer data with each other they invade individuals’ privacy and risk breaching the Data Protection Act. The result is duplication, waste and missed opportunities.

By helping individuals join up the dots of information about their own lives, new services can help them manage their lives more efficiently. For example, ‘managing my money’ or ‘moving home’ involves dealing with many different suppliers. Services which bring relevant information together for individuals to help them undertake ‘life management’ tasks are the second growth market opened up by midata.”

“Invisible market 3: making better decisions
Organisations use information they collect to influence and persuade customers to buy their brands. But individuals have a deeper need which remains unmet: the need to make better decisions. Ctrl-Shift estimates the market for consumer-decision support services is already worth £1.5bn in the UK – and growing fast. Providing individuals with the information they need to make better decisions and choices is the third midata-enabled growth market.”


As the FT put it:  “Ctrl-Shift believes that industries will emerge to help manage personal data, aggregate information to help consumers manage their lives better, and help them make better decisions”.


Can’t sum it up better than that.


Alan Mitchell