The Importance of Protecting Personal Data
We use data in a variety of ways. One of the most prominent topics around data usage is the monetization of data and the ethics associated with it. Lampa and Moriuchi discuss thinking through the types of data you are monetizing, how you are doing it, and whether or not you are providing a benefit to your users in exchange for their personal and behavioral data.
Syndicated Data Providers
Mike gives an example of a syndicated data provider; a company that sells GPS location data where billions and billions of data points are generated every second. Companies are, in turn, buying this data to see where users have been and to predict where they are going.
Data practices should be modeled around a company’s core ethos. Moriuchi states, “Are you using data to better serve your customers and solve their problems most efficiently, or are you simply using data to make a quick buck?”
She continues, “We can see quite clearly the effect that those types of decisions have had historically, and I think the general consumer is done with that.”
Gartner’s 2022 and Beyond Predictions
Everything around data is changing. First and foremost, cookies are going away. Lampa continues to share two vital predictions from Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Predictions from 2022 and Beyond:
1) By 2024, 40% of consumers are going to start tricking behavioral data that is being collected about them. Consumers are going to devalue the personal data that can be collected intentionally. This is because they are hyper-aware of how their data is being gathered and used (making them the product, not the consumer).
2) By 2025, organizations will start generating synthetic data using AI algorithms.
Lampa and Moriuchi conclude that companies that aren’t thinking about the ethical use of data need to start thinking about it because soon, they will be forced to.
Apart from “doing the right thing,” refactoring the architecture of an application or rewriting workflows is expensive and time-consuming.
Companies ahead of the curve will enjoy the benefits of being more cost-effective, and won’t be playing catchup when new regulations are implemented.
Today we have HIPAA requirements for healthcare, health, and wellness providers, and we’re starting to see more similar requirements for GDPR-type regulations in applications.
Moriuchi states, “Whether building for web or mobile, the smartest clients will architect with user privacy and security top-of-mind." They are anticipating the strictest regulations of tomorrow, today.
It’s not just limited to privacy and security. Companies should also consider the scalability and maintainability of their long-term app development strategy. Mobile app users are incredibly sophisticated and understand their power when it comes to their privacy.
Who is Getting the Value from Apps?
Lampa and Moriuchi dive into who benefits from data in an application and discuss the ‘law of reciprocity - to get something, you have to give something. Most often for AppIt’s clients, they are hoping to acquire data. For their customers, they are seeking a valuable user experience.
Moriuchi shares the example of purchasing a vehicle through an app. To get the proper guidance on buying a car, users must share what matters most to them, including but not limited to their budget and vision.
The data gathering process requires empathy and creativity. “You are not entitled to your customer’s data,” says Moriuchi. “You have to give something of value in exchange for their (your users’) information.
Data democratization is giving access to data across all silos of an organization. Each silo within an organization has a mandate on which they must execute. To break down silos, you must share information on the customer experience.
Other surrounding departments often aren’t aware of another one’s mandates. Not every organization is fluid and transparent. Knowing how data flows between organizations and improper data entry can negatively affect your organization and employees.
As a leader, if you’re not caring for your employees, how can you care for your customers? Make sure you know how the correct data is flowing. A lot of customer service issues will naturally start to resolve.
Lampa follows with “minimizing friction within the organization” and how “it plays to creating a better user experience for the customer.”
Data is Dynamic
Lamp and Moriuchi agree, “Data is living and breathing.” However, there’s a fine line between being a value add and burdening your organization. Therefore, it’s essential to be transparent about why you’re collecting a user’s data and how you are collecting, sharing, showing, and storing user data.
At AppIt Ventures, “We help customers collect data, then they work with Great Data Minds on how to store it, so it’s ethical and proper, and how to make meaning of the data.”
The 4 Major Steps Surrounding Data Include:
- Make Meaning
- Take Action
“When you’re clear on what you’re missing, you can make a strategy. This comes back to the full lifecycle. Unfortunately, many app developers don’t think this way,” says Moriuchi.
The two continue to discuss how data changes because users change over time. Therefore, you need to know and understand your users on a more personal level and how to leverage the power of information to ever-serve them ethically.
This brings up the growing popularity of Machine Learning (MI), and how it helps predict user behavior and outcomes. As companies aim to understand their users better, they have to sense that change and make better decisions moving forward.
The Importance of UI
Steve Jobs would watch how his kids behaved with hardware. He wanted it to be so intuitive that a child could use it. Jobs understood the power of an intuitive user experience early on.
Similarly, today’s executives love their dashboards because dashboards elegantly show, demonstrate and visualize data to help them make consequential decisions intuitively. Data visualization empowers decision-makers to make critical decisions in a short period of time that move their organizations forward. Intuitive UX/UI is necessary.
Arm employees in the field with data. Put yourself in your end-users' shoes, leverage empathy, leverage creativity, and easily display valuable data to get the best outcome.
How to Influence the Sharing of Data and the Full Lifecycle
First, ask yourself, what specific data elements do you want to share and why?
Then, educate leadership on the value of data and how it makes a business more functional. There is a value proposition when you can unlock the full lifecycle successfully.
Don’t overwhelm an executive leader, but help them understand how data sharing will help the business be more functional and reduce friction.
Know your requirements, actual requirements. Understand the data lifecycle. Have a clear business goal in mind. Focus on efficiency in the development process. You become better, faster, and stronger if you create efficient systems and processes. You raise the energy bar across the entire organization.
Moriuchi concludes with, “Use the best of data and technology to improve the lives of your employees and your customers.“