06/12/2014

Big Data: Big problem or big opportunity?

It's been my experience that complex and fast-changing trends often present opportunities for businesses who embrace strategic resilience.

Case in point: Big Data. While the possibilities and promise of this new world of massive data sets could make an analyst, product development team or marketer giddy, it can also create significant reputational or regulatory problems if such data is mismanaged or abused.

That’s because, fundamentally, businesses run on trust — not data or dollars. And trust, once lost — whether through a cybercrime breach, or the simple perception on the part of your consumers that you have overreached with their private information — can be very hard to win back. Worse, consumer dissatisfaction can lead to stiffer regulations, which of course could hamper innovation and growth.

Many organisations are finding that it’s hard to draw a line when the ground — of technology, data, regulation, competition — is constantly shifting. And therein lies the opportunity.

This article, by my colleague Jacky Wagner, describes the seeming paradox of Big Data, its promises and perils, and argues that, beyond focusing on compliance and risk management, business leaders must view the issue strategically.

As she puts it: “Resilient organisations get ahead of reputational, legal and customer risks by being proactive protectors of their consumers’ privacy. They jump further ahead by finding out what customers want, giving them a choice and an active role in data sharing, and promising something of value to the customer in return.”

After all, if businesses want openness from their consumers, they also have to give it back.

I encourage you to read Jacky’s article, and to share your thoughts in the Comments section.

Read the article | Meet Dennis Chesley | Meet Jacky Wagner | Visit the PwC Resilience site



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