Posted on: Wednesday 10th of July 2013
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has officially announced the opening of the midata Innovation Lab (mIL) today. Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said:
“Today’s most successful businesses are the ones that are creative about building customer relationships. The new ’midata’ Lab is an exciting opportunity to put this to the test and explore how businesses could help customers use the data around their spending habits to make better choices.
“There is a lot to be gained from being open and using the information gathered on customers with their knowledge. Developing new and innovative ways to see data also helps improve customer service which will in turn promote growth. I would encourage businesses and developers alike to take advantage of this opportunity and establish themselves as a market leader in the digital market.”
We spoke with Craig Belsham, Head of the midata programme, about the importance of the mIL:
There has been some great media coverage about the launch in the news this week.
Marketing Week comment that the mIL provides an opportunity to stimulate interest and encourage more organisations to get involved in the midata programme. “Midata is intended to hand consumers more control over their data and help them make better choices when deciding which products and services to buy.”
Finextra say that the government hopes the mIL will help consumers understand their own behaviours and patterns. They add: “So far the focus has been on making sure that consumers can access their data – from utility to phone bills – in an accessible format, but now the government wants to make it easier to unlock the value of the information”.
According to Marketing Magazine “BIS hopes its innovation lab will encourage brands outside of the finance, telecoms and energy sectors to sign up to midata on a voluntary basis.” They comment that before midata becomes compulsory in October 2014, the mIL will encourage businesses to recognise the value of data transparency for themselves and their customers.
Ctrl-Shift’s Strategy Director Alan Mitchell spoke to Information Age about the launch. “Organisations have been asking, what’s in it for us? And we’ve been telling them that unlocking personal data can drive innovation. But now we’re showing them”. He also highlighted the opportunity that the lab presents to identify the challenges around unlocking data, both technical and organisational.
For a round-up of our thoughts from the launch see our blog post. It includes our Storify of the day including interviews with Founding Partners and Founding Data Donors.