Customer Data – A burning platform

Customer Data – A burning platform
3rd March 2016 No Comments » Uncategorised Paul Tasker

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Lots of data opportunities going wasted

The IoT isn’t smart. The advent of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) in today’s world of connected things and connected people has made it possible for firms to harvest lots of real-time customer data – information from people and objects, and indeed everything as we move towards the Internet-of-Everything. In the UK, 65 percent of people are unclear about ownership of their data1.

This has allowed many firms to collect personal data on the way individuals live their lives, enabling a better understanding of customers so they can create more relevant offerings. But is this really smart? Data collection is relatively easy, but the data is often of questionable quality and a lot of processing is needed to convert this “big data” into useful insights on customer trends. All this undoubtedly contributes to significant discount wastage in the offers provided.

Privacy and trust are critical

With increasing concerns about data privacy and security many people are now pushing back on the amount of data collected and held by firms – from financial and identity data through to the more mundane such as location, purchasing preferences and social interaction. This trend will gather momentum as we move towards the Internet-of-Everything, particularly as people become more aware of the value of their data.

So how can firms make personal data work more effectively?

By making it work for the individual. Empower your customers by giving them back control of their own data2., by making their experience more efficient for them and for you. UK adults spend 60 percent of their time on internet services, more than the average night’s sleep: this time can be more productive by asking them to share only those data you need, when you need them, and using that data to better understand the context of their consumption. By doing this you can provide them with great products or services or offers that support exactly what they want, when they want it. You, the firm, will still have sovereignty over your data, though you could chose to share this with customers to support better purchasing decisions.
Innovative firms that give individuals control over their data will still be able to differentiate on how they use the data, and on the trust they are able to build with customers to do so.

Empower the people with HAT!

Developed through a UK government-funded research project, the HAT is a multi-sided platform for personal data created to let individuals collect their own data through IoT-enabled objects, and to control, re-combine, and be creative with mixing up their data and then sharing it in a privacy-preserving manner. This not only helps them make better and more informed decisions in their lives, but also allows companies to offer them more personalised and customised offerings.
The ability to combine data from any, and many sources is fun for individuals and opens up many opportunities for innovative firms.

Delight the customer and access a larger addressable market

The HAT makes it possible for firms to gain greater insights into customer wants, providing a big market discriminator and opening new market opportunities. Better still though, by returning control of customers’ personal data to customers, firms are able build a better relationship of trust with their customers creating goodwill and loyalty.

The HAT is a better way to resolve the tension between concerns over personal data privacy and our abilities to tap into innovative services and products in today’s connected world. It allows for an entirely new social and business contract to be forged between individuals and firms in the context of the IoT: one that potentially spurs even more innovation because individual data can remain private and secure whilst firms can offer more innovative services around mixes of all sorts of data. Be an innovation leader and grab a HAT for your customers
The timing can’t be better as industries are beginning to wake up to the Internet ‘jumping out of the box’ into the physical realm through the Internet-of-Everything. The urgent need to deal better with customer data is a burning platform fueled by the era of the IoT. Respecting privacy and the ownership of personal data with HATs, opens new ways to create new markets helping to spur greater growth in the digital economy.

Find out more about the HAT at:, and support the HAT Indiegogo Campaign at:

Paul Tasker:

Chief Executive, co-founder and director at HAT Data Exchange Ltd
Full profile here:

  1. UK Digital catapult research commentary – “Understanding the benefits of personal data”
  2. Ofcom said UK adults spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices – estimate 60 percent daily activity), compared with the average night’s sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes- reported in
    Ofcom annual communications study 2015 
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