Businesses Are Embracing the Data Age to Navigate COVID Recovery – But Must Bring Consumers Along for the Ride
Research finds that business and consumer attitudes towards data use have shifted during the course of the pandemic
Key findings show that businesses have been spurred on to embrace the Data Age – while consumers have become more cautious, with raised expectations about how their data is handled:
- The majority of businesses believe COVID has accelerated the use of data in operations
- Confidence in IT infrastructure resilience has fallen sharply
- Consumers continue to raise their expectations for how businesses handle their data
The Data Age is here
Over three-quarters of businesses in
“The impact of the global pandemic on the economy has made it clear to businesses that they need to embrace the Data Age to survive,” said
Before the pandemic, responsibility for managing and utilising data was typically seen as the domain of the IT function – whether to combat security threats or avoid downtime – but it is now being viewed as a strategic company asset for planning and decision making. Three-quarters of European businesses said it was being used for more regular monitoring of performance metrics within the business (73%) and to examine customer data more closely (69%), while a similar number (72%) said it was now helping to plot trends in order to inform new business developments.
Solidifying the ‘Next Normal’
The research also shows that there is no room for complacency within the IT function itself and it needs to utilise data more to ensure the technology infrastructure it provides for services like remote working is always available. There has been a sharp fall in confidence levels related to infrastructure resilience with a quarter of
Building Consumer Confidence
While the research highlights that businesses are embracing the Data Age to survive COVID disruption, it’s clear that the Data Age for consumers will be characterised by high standards regarding their data:
Banks are seen as a safe bet for sharing personal details. In the
UKand France, when it comes to personal data such as their email, people are more likely to trust their bank (68%) than their partners ( UK60% and France66%) or parents ( UK48% and France58%).
- British consumers are three times more likely to give their email address to a bank (68%) than to a company manufacturing smart (IoT) devices (19%).
- Less than half of French consumers would tolerate a data breach by a business, whereas 60% of Brits and 66% of Germans would be more understanding, jumping to three quarters of Dutch people.
- When given the choice of a more personalised service – like a news feed – over a free, generic service with non-targeted advertising, half of Brits (50%) would take the generic option. Only 16% would prefer a data-driven (personalised) service.
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The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 803 DMs (senior managers and above) who are responsible for data in companies of 100+ employees aged 25+ and 4,098 consumers in each of the following markets:
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