Data-value exchange shifting as Me2B economy grows

David Reed, director of research and editor-in-chief, DataIQ

The personal information economy is gaining traction as a concept, with 83% of consumers aged under 34 recognising that their digital identity has a value to brands. Across the population as a whole, 73% now attach a financial value to the personal data they share online - and expect companies to recognise this if they want to use it.

The findings come from a survey of 3,000 consumers carried out by Callcredit Information Group. It shows that there is a very clear understanding of the role which data plays in the digital economy and that individuals increasingly expect to see a direct benefit. Nearly half (47%) understand that sharing data saves time by enabling cross-channel conversations, while four in ten (39%) expect to receive more personalised offers.

Mark Davison, chief data officer, Callcredit Information Group, commented: “There’s no denying that the digital revolution has triggered an opportunity for brands to get to know their customers better than ever before. Every click is a reflection of a consumer’s identity, behaviours, passions and thought processes. In return for this insight, consumers benefit from a higher quality of products and services, tailored to their individual needs and delivered with an increasingly effortless customer experience. On occasions, they need reminding of this.”

Explaining more clearly the role of data in digital services looks set to be an important task, since 55% of consumers said they would share more personal information if they had a better understanding of how it would benefit them. Currently, just 38% were familiar with the term “digital identity”, while 50% doubted that online searches were a part of it.

“Our research suggests that we’ll begin to see a paradigm shift as people take control of and monetise their own data,” said Davison. “But we must unlock the benefits of the personal information economy in a way that creates a balance between protecting consumers’ privacy and digital identity with the ability to innovate and enhance people’s lives. This is clearly in an embryonic stage, so early movers will have a huge educational challenge, but the scale of the marketplace and the Me2B economy should not be understated.”