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midata: from talking to doing

Posted on: Friday 20th of December 2013

In late 2014, Jo Swinson, Minister for Consumer Affairs, wrote to the CEOs of companies in the regulated industries (banking, energy, mobile phones) asking them to report on progress made in implementing midata.

midata is an initiative to encourage the companies to release transaction data back to customers in a machine readable format so that they can use the data for their own purposes.

In the first few months of 2014, the Government is going to review progress on midata and decide whether to exercise the powers it gained under the 2013 Enterprise Reform Act to legislate.

This review will be taking place in the context of other related developments, including the extension of midata to public services, new initiatives to extend innovation around midata, pending European legislation which would extend similar rights to all EU citizens, and similar initiatives in the US, Canada and France.

This means that over the next 12-18 months many more organisations are likely to feel the need to plan and implement data release to customers.

So what do we need to do?

There are lots of things to think about and get right. If we have to start releasing data back to our customers, and all our competitors are doing the same, how best to turn this to our advantage? How could it impact brand reputation and trust, customer engagement and experience, service innovation both positively and negatively? What are the potential risks and liabilities? And, practically speaking, what do we have to do to make it happen?

As business advisors to the midata programme since its inception in 2011 to mid-2013 Ctrl-Shift has a deep understanding of these questions – and of the variety of answers organisations have so far developed.

We’ve produced a briefing paper ‘midata and the impact of customer data release: from talking to doing‘ to help companies tackle these questions. We cover the opportunities and risks of alternative courses of actions (such as ‘proactively embrace’ versus ‘drag our heels’), the midata vision, the key steps in the data release process and the communication, technical, process and liability issues they raise,  an assessment of the arguments for and against. And we place midata in context – of international developments and of broader developments in the data and personal data landscape.

This paper is free to subscribers to Ctrl-Shift’s research programme. For others, it costs £495.