Data analytics is a powerful tool for marketing, operational efficiency and understanding your business' future growth path. Just like any other tool (a light saber, for example), it can be used for both good and evil. But while we can all agree that the flashy red light sabers are pretty cool, who wants to join the dark side?
When you work with an agency to visualize and interpret your data—whether through a feasibility study, appended data or a deep dive into company productivity—they're often privy to sensitive or proprietary information about your company, your employees and your customers. That's why it's important to choose a data partner that adheres to ethical standards, which, while still evolving in our industry, will become more important as more data is collected on our everyday activities.
Choosing the Blue Light Saber
It can seem creepy when we talk about the amount of information we can find out about a target audience, and how we can append data to find more of them, or how we can get down to the census block level to understand purchasing behavior. But it's important to understand that this type of data is either open to the public or shared with tacit acknowledgement by the user, often in exchange for a service. (As we like to remind folks, if the service is free, then you are the product.)
However, information that comes from hacking or deceitful tactics is unethical and illegal, and definitely not appreciated by your customers. When you work with a data partner, don't hesitate to ask not only where they get their data, but how they plan to use it after the end of the project.
We predict there will continue to be a greater value placed on personal data, and users will become more privacy savvy. With the enactment of the GDPR, we are seeing a ripple effect through the United States, as California is now putting into place initial legislation that may lead the way to greater privacy laws in the United States.
As more and more data services such as programmatic advertising come online, more agencies are offering data-driven platforms without having the proper training or understanding what happens to data uploaded into those programs. (Ignorance may be bliss—but it's not a get out of jail free card.) Partner with a trusted firm that wields the blue light saber and insists on data protection as a part of their platform.
Need help navigating your data? de Novo can help you use the force for good.