We are living in the Digital Age, and that means that the world’s most valuable resources are digital as well. Today’s hottest commodity is data. Nowadays, how you study, manage, and protect your data can make or break you. Read on for an analysis as to why data is so valuable and how you can be optimizing it.

So What is Data?

In simplest terms, data is any set of facts or figures. It is all around us. It is everywhere. 

Moreover, with society’s increasing resilience on technology, the amount of data created is growing exponentially. According to Bernard Marr at Forbes, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day, and over 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last two years alone. Those statistics are staggering, and it should be mentioned that they will only continue to increase. 

What Makes Data So Valuable?

For companies everywhere, having access to this gargantuan store of worldwide data can be instrumental in guiding strategy.

For starters, you can use it to study your target market, and knowledge is power. Nowadays, it feels like all you have to do is visualize something you’ve been thinking about buying before all of your ads are targeted to showcase that very item. Now in all realness, this is a result of data analytics, and your wireless devices are not actually spying on you (at least, I don’t *think* they are). But with how connected we are, and with all of our devices speaking to each other constantly, it can quickly begin to feel a little creepy how quickly our ads are targeted.

According to RingLead.com, “every piece of customer data, be it where on a website they’ve clicked, what state they live in, how frequently they ‘check in’ to certain places or how long they spend on certain web pages, is an insight into what would appeal to them and what you can sell to them.” 

By strategically analyzing consumer data, companies are able to redirect customers to additional products that they are likely to buy based on their browsing habits and what they interact with. I don’t know about you, but I am much more likely to buy that dress I’ve been eyeing when I see an ad for it every single time I open up my web browser.  

Long story short, the more data you have to study, the higher your chances of converting a potential customer into a paying one, and a one-time customer into a regular. And there isn’t a single company out there that isn’t looking to bring in more revenue.

The Dark Side of Data Analytics

The truth is, almost everything we do on our computers or phones leaves a data trail. Once upon a time, people weren’t very bothered by this; most people didn’t think twice about it. But in light of recent scandals and data breaches, people aren’t as trusting as they used to be. This poses a unique challenge to businesses who so heavily rely on said data to enhance their business operations. 

While the U.S. government has been slow to mandate data protection legislation, the EU has already taken action by implementing GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May 2018. The mandate empowers members of the EU and EEA to regain control over their data and increase transparency throughout so that people are aware of who has access to that data and what it is being used for. Additionally, any company that violates the terms of GDPR or mismanages data is liable to enormous fines, leaving most to err on the side of caution.

According to Eileen Brown at ZDnet, increasing numbers of U.S. citizens believe that it is their right to know to whom their data is being sold, along with the ability to say no if they are not comfortable sharing. 

Only time will tell if the U.S. follows the EU’s lead with GDPR-type regulation, and then brands will have the task of figuring out how to optimize data analytics without the current reach that they currently have. Either way, it is clear that data is an incredibly valuable resource that can be tapped in order to optimize your day to day operations.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can protect your data using blockchain technology, get in touch with us