Some interesting news hit UK headlines last year that companies could be made to give the public greater access to their personal transaction data in an electronic, portable and machine-readable format. That’s if the midata project has anything to do with it.
Launched in April 2011 midata is part of the UK Government’s consumer empowerment strategy, Better Choices: Better Deals. Essentially, it’s a partnership between government, consumer groups and major businesses. Its aim is to give consumers access to the data that they produce, from the likes of household utilities, and banking, to internet transactions and high street loyalty cards.
Midata’s project plan for compulsory customer data marks a significant step forward for businesses looking to win consumer trust. Sharing transaction data in this way will transform it from something obscure into something both tangible and useable for consumers.
This is a great opportunity for businesses to enhance their relationships with customers, providing insight into day-to-day consumption and lifestyle habits. This will turn the tables and allow individuals to make more informed spending decisions, find the best offers and analyse their own data.
As more and more suppliers are giving customers electronic access to their transaction data, consumers are becoming used to the benefits of this newfound transparency. With the right data management tools in place to offer this, businesses can stay one step ahead of the curve when it comes to market competition.
Businesses, consumer groups, regulators and members of the public were asked to respond to the project, while the midata project team consulted with key stakeholders for specific feedback. It will certainly be interesting to see if that feedback is made public and how it informs the future of this project. In the meantime, businesses should review the technology and processes they have in place for accessing consumer data, as this hot topic looks set to reach boiling point in the coming months.
Keep me posted on how you are ensuring that you stay ahead when it comes to data management.