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Privacy

Why aggregated data benefits everybody in a GDPR world

by
Danvers Baillieu

As the countdown to GDPR begins in earnest, there are set to be big changes in how organisations use and analyse customer data .

This is because the new legislation tightens the rules around businesses’ ability to process personal data – making it more risky and complicated to share and purchase raw customer data.

This legislation comes at a time when businesses, from the likes of the big tech giants to SMEs, increasingly rely on generating insight from customer data to improve their offering and the way they engage with consumers. Also, consumers increasingly worry about data privacy and their information being misused by brands. Our recent Exploring Data research found that 61% are worried about their data being stolen or sold to spam marketers.

So how can organisations continue to successfully derive insight from their customer data in a GDPR world, yet keep their customers happy in the knowledge that they are keeping their data secure when sharing insight with others?

Aggregated data

The answer is to use aggregated data. This is information gathered and expressed in a summary form for purposes such as statistical analysis, and so is not personal data for the purposes of data protection law, such as GDPR.

By using statistical insights from anonymised personal data it’s possible, for example, to build look-a-like audiences for advertising and spot previously unknown trends or patterns that open up opportunities to create new product lines, upsell and improve customer engagement.

It offers brands a risk-free way to deliver an exceptional level of insight on their customers to help drive highly targeted marketing activity in a GDPR world.

Consumers prefer brands to use aggregated data

From our Exploring Data study, we found that consumers are much more comfortable with organisations using aggregated data, because they get the benefits of businesses sharing their data - including better products services and communications – without the privacy concerns of individual targeting.

  • ‍80% of consumers are comfortable with brands using aggregated data to create products, in comparison to 68% for personal data
  • 78% of consumers are happy for aggregated data to be used by businesses to recommend products, in comparison to 62% for personal data 
  • ‍74% of consumers are comfortable with brands using aggregated data in marketing, in comparison to 55% for personal data
  • ‍71% of consumers are comfortable with aggregated datasets being connected, in comparison to 49% for personal data
  • ‍58% of consumers are happy for aggregated data to be sold to other companies, in comparison to 31% for personal data

A good example of an increase in the comfort level amongst consumers from brands using aggregated data comes from some questions we asked in our research about how they would feel about their automated vacuum cleaner collecting room layout data to be sent back to the manufacturer. Only 32% said this was acceptable. However, when they were told that this data would be stored separately and anonymously, and aggregated together with other customer data to create better furnishings, 57% found this acceptable.

Consumer Attitudes - Shaping Insight Together

Additional security

When looking to reap the rewards of using aggregated data brands should look to use a SaaS technology such as ours. We allow marketers to share insight without moving the actual data – protecting the customer data. This means there’s no need to worry about third parties being able to copy, or worse, leak it. Whilst at the same time it enables brands to deliver an exceptional level of customer insight from aggregated data to help drive their business forward in a GDPR compliant way.

So, whether it’s an improved customer experience, improved retention and loyalty, bigger share of wallet, new products and services, or strategic partnerships you are looking to deliver and our new data collaboration technology with privacy and security at the core of its design will give best results. Your customers will thank you for it.

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