We live in exceptional times, when the value of a barrel of oil has reached negative values, while the value of a Gigabyte of personal data has reached exorbitant prices, for those who are still skeptical, please reflect on how global geopolitical interests have changed over time.
We had wars over territory with the birth of modern agriculture, we fought over oil as the energy of the industrial revolution, and now we hack into data as the basis of artificial intelligence. These are all very sibylline movements, almost imperceptible to the average citizen, but I would dare to compare the current situation with the old cold war.
And make no mistake, the asset that is being sought is none other than people’s data. Because these are the basis of automatic learning, which ultimately develops AI processes, AI itself, is going to be the strategic asset that countries, companies and individuals will fight for.
In this AI race, we find three different speeds that differ fundamentally in how the privacy of citizen data is being managed.
Today China leads the race, there the government is the one that decides on the treatment and use of those data, culturally for the Chinese there are no secrets, there is no privacy, that is how they understand freedom, and this cultural competitive advantage positions them today as leaders in the development of Artificial Intelligence, their government has the data of their citizens, and they are a few million citizens.
In second place is the United States, where the data belongs to the mega technological corporations, to the large monopolies. Americans have a certain critical sense about how to manage privacy by establishing some limits, but there is no doubt that they are halfway there, most of them believe that the technological advantages brought to society outweigh the debate on privacy.
Finally, we Europeans, here culturally we have a very critical opinion about how to manage the private data of citizens, we are opposed, we understand the value of technological development, but we stick to our liberal values of respect for privacy as a symbol of authenticity.
One could say that, geopolitically, Europe is in the middle of the clash between China and the United States, with Russia as the facilitator of the two superpowers, we are halfway between irrelevance and irrelevance, which if it is true is that we have been giving away our data to the Americans for a long time.
So when you think about how to use the data in your company? Think about if you sell data directly, or process data derived from another value or associated physical service; in the case of our company, the core of the startup is the data itself, it is encapsulated and processed knowledge that we offer through a digital medium that is the Internet.
It is simple, when you create data as a core and generate by nature more data, another type of different data, when you process this data, we obtain analysis, from these in turn obtain actions and from these actions decisions are made for the company, setting the course where the ship is going.
Working in this way, does not mean giving up the vision or the strategy of a company, but it solves in an extraordinary way a million of the inherent problems associated with working on a daily basis “blindly” or without information, more than a good practice, it is the engine of your company, the dynamo that moves the gears.
Work in real time, use the data intelligently, don’t fall into the trap of the quarterly or half-yearly report coming in, and I’ll make the decisions by then; No, forget it, working with data in an agile and flexible way, means that you have already incorporated the analysis of that data into your day-to-day activities, so that you can make instant decisions, there are no monthly reports if you want to be agile, there is a continuous and feedback based micro action process.
Think of the data as a continuous generator of value in your company that is born from the customer and is directed to the customer, your function is to shape that continuous spiral of feedback.
My recommendation is to design a workflow in which you always have one piece of data as input, and get another processed piece of data as output.
Combine and compare your data, get out of your unique environment, you don’t have to be a big corporation to use Big Data platforms.
Large scale information will help you better understand your small scale, if you don’t know what is happening in your market, in a quantitative and qualitative way, you will not understand well what is happening within your company, companies are a small scale representation of your market.
Trust your instinct, but don’t stop analyzing your data, instincts fail, but data fails less, nowadays if your company is minimally digitalized, you have access to brutal tools for capturing and processing data, and in the vast majority of cases we are talking about free platforms, or with a minimum investment.
You can measure the entire customer experience, from the first reference with your brand, to the last payment after a cancellation; these are the competitive advantages of being digital, take advantage of the moment, here is the competitive key, whether it is a country, a company or an individual living in society, the way you manage your data today, tomorrow it will pay off.
The Rules of Customer-Centric Innovation.July 13, 2020
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