Author : Sana Anand
With advancements in technology and new businesses emerging, the data game is getting stronger. No progress can be made without analyzing and collecting data. There have been rising concerns about how secure our data is with businesses, however, this article deals with why companies require our data at all and how do they go about getting this data.
What is Consumer Data?
I remember the last time I came home from the park. As soon as I entered the room, I realized I brought inside my dirty shoes leaving mud shoe prints all over the house. Consumer Data can be compared to these shoe prints. While you are casually browsing the net, you are actually leaving data behind. When you install an application and give the company access to your basic profile, name, gender etc. you are in a way permitting them to use your data.
How is the Data Collected?
There are numerous ways to collect a customer's data . Most of the companies simply ask for your permission to get their hands on personal information. Companies explore their old records to look for your data. Website, cookies, GPS access is another way to track the data. Businesses also contact other companies who deal with sale and purchase of data.
What do they do with your data?
Targeted Marketing- Taking a look at the customer’s personal data lets the company know what the customer is interested in. This makes their job easier when it comes to directly contacting people who are looking for the kind of product/service their company offers. For eg. You have been searching for a new phone on the browser and later you get to see phone related information popping up on other applications as well.
Product Development- Another purpose for which data is gathered is to assess what the people looking for. What is the product they are searching for? What is the demand for a service? Which innovation will lead to enormous profits? This helps the businesses to not only improve on their present range of products but also provides them with ideas as to which new products can enter into the market. In short, this opens room for innovation.
Third Party Companies- Some companies deal in data for a price. Data is money because if it is used to its potential it has the potential to boost sales tremendously and earn greater revenues.
Advertising- Data enables companies to find out what value are the customers looking for in a product and hence they promote products across channels by specifically focusing on new features.
Insights- If you are a blogger you will be able to relate to this one. Companies provide you with your account’s insights. It has details related to how many people actually visited your profile, which place they belong to , average age , gender, at what time should you post etc. These insights help you improve on your blog and reach out to more people.
There have been rising concerns over data privacy and data leaks. However, to get the business growing, data has to be the seed. Good solutions cannot be devised without knowing what the problem is. To identify the problem, access to data is necessary.