Data: A Force for Good?

Back in 2018, the Data & Marketing Association launched its Value of Data campaign in a bid to uncover the true worth of data to businesses. The DMA partnered with the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre and research Centre for Design Informatics to explore and champion the role of data, helping organisations deliver value to their customers.

Over the past few months, the DMA and partner organisations have hosted a series of thought-provoking workshops and lectures, as well as creating a free whitepaper. This will inspire organisations to thrive from innovation, technology, and data, while ensuring responsible marketing sits at the core of business practices.

As part of the exploratory phase of the campaign, the DMA is holding a series of roundtables with different industry sectors to explore the role of data, along with the challenges and opportunities it brings.

Discussions at the most recent Fintech Roundtable explored themes raised in the Value of Data White Paper and furthered the conversation regarding what tools, insights, and ethical frameworks are required to fuel innovation in the data economy.

In collaboration with Fintech Scotland, the DMA will take this to the next level by exploring how data can be used to build better, fairer, and more transparent services in the financial services industry.

On 17 September in Edinburgh, the ‘Value of Data: Data as a Force for Good’ event will investigate how FinTech organisations can help traditional banks realise this vision in order to build trust with consumers and improve customer engagement.

In addition, The Scotsman’s 2019 ‘Doing data right: Through people and partnerships’ conference will bring together key players from business, academia, and the public and charity sectors to get to grips with these complex issues. The chair of DMA Scotland, Firas Khnaisser, will be a key speaker, addressing the search for value in the age of data as part of the DMA’s Value of Data campaign.

What themes and questions will the ‘Data as a Force for Good’ event explore?

It can be argued that for most organisations, data is their most valuable asset and its importance to the digital economy is only increasing.

With this in mind, do organisations really know who’s in control of this data and, by extension, driving this limitless value to them? What are the ethical implications of handling data and who should be accountable for it? How has data-driven tech shaped the value exchange in financial services?

These questions centre on the theme of consumer trust – a key issue within the banking sector in particular. For example, people need to be convinced that their money is stored and accessed with adequate safeguards, and that the decisions made by banks about the status of their money are made fairly.

The potential of the banking industry to use data to build better, fairer, and more transparent credit rating scores and more detailed (and relevant) customer profiles is vast. When this information is shared and is clear to both the customer and the bank, they can communicate and understand financial situations better. Therefore the bank’s recommendations on products, services or financial assistance will be more informed.

The advantages of data insight mean that organisations can better contextualise an individual’s financial situation and predict how this may change over time. When this information is used effectively for and with customers’ permission, they become better informed and more able make the necessary changes to improve their long-term financial position.

With this level of customisation, the offering to customers transforms from a selection of products designed to help, to fully tailored solutions for each individual.

In this way, the ‘value’ of the data in these circumstances becomes the ability for the business to provide the customer with the service they want, rather than the commercial value that can be gained from a customer from the use of data to establish monetising financial services.

The breadth and variety of fintech companies and services means that the role of data and its value are far-reaching. Nonetheless, the principles of better customer relationships, growing trust and accountability are all necessary for the development and adoption of fintech products and services by the public.

Data is playing a fundamental role in challenging existing models and changing cultures in all aspects of banking. What is clear is that collaboration across traditional financial services and fintech will be imperative for delivering the best products and services in the financial industry.

If you would like to become part of the discussion, join the DMA and FinTech Scotland at the ‘Data as a Force for Good’ event on Tuesday 17 September at Whitespace in Edinburgh.

To find out more about the event or register your interest, please visit the DMA website.