• Helen Pritchett

2018 - The Summer of Data (and other data related tales ...)

Ok, so we've stolen the title of this blog from the good people at Ad Exchanger (in particular we'd like to thank Terence Kawaja, founder and CEO at LUMA Partners). But, with good reason. It makes the real and valuable point that, in this post-GDPR world, the significance of and need for data has not declined or been marginalised by uber-strict legislation and potentially business-breaking fines for non-compliance.

Whilst dealing in data (and data-driven companies) slowed up towards the end of 2017, the summer of 2018 has seen a boom in mergers and acquisitions.

Doom-mongers predicted "the death of data-driven marketing" and the risk averse among uschose to wait until the GDPR dust settled before making any decisions.

Fast forward 4 months and, just like the folk tale of Chicken Licken, the sky has not fallen in on the world of data-driven B2C or B2B marketing. Cause for celebration, but with caution. As Kawaja states: "[Summer 2018 has seen] a massive uptick. Just in the last three months, we’ve seen seven significant transactions totaling $9 billion in value for companies focused on data-driven marketing, leading us to dub this the “Summer of Data.”

Rather than GDPR signalling the death knell of data-driven marketing, it seems as though people were simply waiting to see what happened next. The worst has not (yet) happened, concerns have been alleviated and it is all systems go.

So, what should we be worrying about next?!

What Brexit Means for the UK's Data Industry

According to The Register, London is tipped to lead the European data market - yes, despite Brexit!!

A report from data centre giant Equinix states that "London will remain the most important European market for data ... even with Brexit looming and Frankfurt catching up."

The news gets better. Although Frankfurt is tipped for faster growth – at 58% compound annual growth rate compared with London's 52% – London has twice the capacity. The report concludes that London would be crucial for the European part of this market, finding that 35 per cent of private data exchange growth in the region came from the city.

A separate survey of 130 IT decision-makers found that the UK is still seen in a favourable light, despite the nation's impending exit from the European Union.

Some 64% of respondents said that the UK's data centre industry makes it the best place in Europe to work with partners, customers, supply chain and cloud service providers.

Before we get too carried away we should remember that there is still a long way to go in the world of Brexit negotiations and ti is advisable to be cautious. Remind anyone of pre-GDPR nerves in 2017?!

Edinburgh bids to become Europe’s data capital

A new venture aims to make Edinburgh the data capital of Europe.

The £661m Data-Driven Innovation initiative (DDI), funded by the Edinburgh City Deal, will invest in a data analysis facility, which will help 1000 organisations use data to innovate their sectors. Additionally it is expected it will boost the Scottish economy, launching spin-off companies, attracting start-ups, as well as established businesses, and bringing investment.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell hailed the DDI initiative. He said: “This exciting project – backed by £270m of UK government investment – will ensure that the UK leads the world in technologies of the future and benefits from the economic growth opportunities this brings.”

And finally ... 

Is Big Data at Fault for Data Breaches?

Here's an interesting question. Who, or what, is to blame for data privacy breaches? Is it big data, he or is it those who process it?

As consumers we like targeted, personalised advertising. We don't mind sharing our data as long as we believe it is stored safely and we get benefits in return. However, when breaches occur, and we are made vulnerable, we get cross. Quite rightly.

Consumers share personal information with suppliers on the understanding they keep it safe. When this doesn't happen the companies we interact with blame the third party data mining companies and, adroitly, deflect responsibility.  

Who is really to blame? Answers on a postcard please ...

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