What is data collaboration?

What is data collaboration?
Lauren Wetzel
Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Quick definition: Data collaboration is a process of bringing together data from various internal and external sources to unlock combined data insights, for example about customers. These valuable insights can be used to create new products and services, power richer customer experiences, and deliver better business outcomes. But data collaboration shouldn’t mean data sharing. 

Let’s dive a little deeper.

If data is the new oil, the companies that hold the most high-quality data are at a significant advantage. These companies range from social giants such as Facebook and Twitter to tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon.  

Companies around the world are working to collect more data than ever before. Across quickly evolving industries like gaming, retail, and media to more traditional industries like automotive, financial services, and healthcare companies, data is key to delivering both innovative products and services and powering rich customer experiences. 

Data collected directly by a company is known as first-party data. While highly relevant as it is collected directly from consumers who interact with a company, this data often only provides a single perspective on a consumer. For example, a gaming company may know what gaming genre a player prefers, but they may not have insight into their hobbies and interests outside of gaming. 

Why is this helpful? What if a gaming company like EA knew whether its Sims players would engage better with a new pets add-on or a holiday add-on? Knowing how many of their players are pet owners or are frequent travelers would enable them to tailor their game development and release cycle, as well as develop smart, integrated partnerships into the game. 

Enter data collaboration

Data collaboration enables companies to bring together data from multiple internal and external parties to unlock new consumer intelligence. Collaborating with other companies that hold an additional piece of the consumer puzzle is a powerful way to discover new information that can inform the customer experience. 

Customer insights can be enhanced through collaboration

To enable data collaboration, these insights need to be combined. This has previously required companies to upload data into a third-party environment where it could be merged. A centralized data clean room is a good example of a third-party environment. 

This centralization approach carries heavy security and privacy challenges for companies that ultimately lose control of their data once the data transfer takes place. Should a bank share all their customers’ details with another company? Or a healthcare company share their customers’ health records? Not if these companies want to be customer-centric.

High-profile data misuse and leakage stories, combined with mainstream documentaries on how data is collected and used, have led to the average consumer having more privacy awareness and concerns than ever before. 

At InfoSum we empower companies to unlock the limitless potential of data collaboration while prioritizing consumer privacy. We call it the ‘non-movement of data’.

InfoSum: Data collaboration, not data sharing

Each company wishing to collaborate has its own private and secure cloud instance known as a Bunker. Bunkers are unique to each company and only the data owner can ever access them. Think of Bunkers as an extension of a company’s own infrastructure. 

Permissions can be granted to each party in the collaboration, enabling collaborative data analysis to take place. Importantly, this never grants another company access to a Bunker or the data. Using our patented ‘non-movement of data’ technology, data never leaves the Bunkers. Instead, a mathematical representation is used to match customer records. 

These mathematical representations deliver a deterministic match between two or more datasets. Our Bridge solution enables these matches to be made using either the identifiers present in the data (e.g. email or mobile ID) or by using a third-party identity vendor. Additionally, we provide the options for both probabilistic and cohort-level matches, ensuring companies achieve the maximum match rate possible. 

While our data match is deterministic, we use best-in-class differential privacy controls to ensure that no single individual can ever be exposed or identified. This means no consumer’s privacy is ever at risk.

This privacy-by-design approach unlocks limitless collaboration opportunities. From basic internal collaboration to breakdown data silos to more complex multi-party collaboration, InfoSum supports them all with one platform. 

One platform. Any collaboration

There are many ways data collaboration can help propel businesses forward:

Internal: Connect all the data sources across a business to better understand customers and deliver richer brand experiences.

  • Example: A bank can analyze data from all their various business units, e.g. current accounts, credit cards, loans, wealth management, etc. to better understand their customers, and develop more tailored financial products.

One-to-One: Seamlessly collaborate with strategic partners in a privacy-first way to power greater customer experiences.

  • Example: A brand collaborates directly with a media company to match its customers to the media company’s audience. Enabling the brand to deliver tailored advertising depending on if an individual is a customer, lapsed customer, or prospect.

One-to-Many: Collaborate across multiple partners and various industries to power new data-driven experiences.

  • Example: Various healthcare companies, including healthtech, insurance providers, and healthcare providers, collaborate across their various data sources to deliver personalized and proactive care, and improve operational efficiencies.

Co-Op: Leverage data assets across multiple businesses to create new privacy-first ecosystems that power better products and services.

  • Example: A retailer, CPG, data provider, and telco collaborate across their various first-party data sources to build a privacy-first data ecosystem that delivers better customer insights, media planning, and measurement products.

Whether you are looking to tap into the latent potential of internal data, or build complex multi-party collaborations, InfoSum makes it fast, easy and, most importantly, safe!

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