Who’s Afraid of Big Data? Almost No One

acl blog image people walking

Like it or not, we live in a consumer society that constantly wants our information. Things like what we eat, what size shoe we wear, how many kids we have—these seemingly banal aspects of our lives are jackpots for businesses wanting to sell us more stuff.

That’s the participant perspective. As an event business, you want to maximize profit and avoid waste by knowing exactly what your consumers want. But, recent studies on consumer preferences show that there is a very real middle ground for businesses wanting to move to a data-driven model.

Use Data for Good and Consumers Won’t Mind

The Accenture Personalization Survey polled 1,000 women and men ages 20 to 40 and found that while most didn’t want to share extremely invasive information (like current information), almost all were comfortable with sharing data if they controlled what they shared.

The consumers surveyed wanted the data to be used to create a more personalized shopping experience, like automatic loyalty program discounts; optimization of store Website by device and reminders when something needed to be refilled or replaced.

Data In, Data Out

In that same vein, Adobe’s Consumer Analytics Evangelist Brett Dykes suggests that companies collecting data spit some of that out to benefit consumers. The type of data collected and analyzed by companies over time to form a complete picture of a consumer is just as insightful to said consumer as it is to the company, he wrote.

“As data becomes more pervasive, a healthy data loop with brands will be expected and rewarded by increasingly data-savvy consumers,” Dykes wrote on VentureBeat.com.

“It’s no longer just about how your company can extract valuable insights from your customer data, but how the data can create value for your customers.”

Some examples of companies giving data back via email:

  • Warby Parker, an eyeglass retailer, emailing prescription reminders
  • Pandora Internet Radio, a streaming radio website, sending music preferences
  • Etsy, an online marketplace of handmade items, compiling items that you may like based on previous purchases

Think about the data you collect on your participants. How can you use it to personalize their experience? What data points can you give back to the participant?