We all live in a world that’s dominated by data. No matter where the world is going, the most important thing is data. And, whether it is a small or a large company, their main aim is to get hands-on the data. I am not talking just about consumers data; it is of supplies, inventory and many more. Well, the reason behind it is quite simple, data brings information and helps in flourishing businesses. Marshall McLuhan once said, “The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist,” and this is the mirror of truth in today’s world.
Let me make you relate to this more by giving examples. Let’s talk about one of the biggest tech giants in the world, Facebook. Why do you think that the company acquires every other social media platform that becomes a hit? For instance: WhatsApp and Instagram. Well, the answer is simple: To get hands-on the data of people and use them to their own benefits. Make advertisements more relevant, learn more about people’s habits, what they like, what they don’t like. I mean, the data they are collecting with these apps and make their business flourish. But, these things indirectly harm the privacy of the users. Everything is exposed. The company even launched a Smart Display speaker with a camera to keep an eye on you. To gather more data about your personal lives.
Most of the companies today are introducing products, applications, gadgets, and many more such things to carter data. Because, in today’s world, the only king is the one with data. There’s no other way around it. They are investing huge amounts of money just in big data centers where they can store and analyze data. Make themselves profitable with it. Even the governments around the world are introducing things and policies that harm the privacy of their citizens. It’s sad, but that’s the truth.
Now, let us jump on the things and discuss how businesses use your data to make their livelihood.
Improving customer experience: Well, the biggest thing for a business is their consumers. Without them, there’s nothing. So to make them happy and satisfied with the offerings, companies need to know what their users like and what they don’t. If they know about your choices and dislikes, they can use it to their advantage and change their business strategies so that more and more customers are attracted towards them. The reviews and the feedbacks make businesses decide if the goods and services they are offering are suited to the current market scenario or not. But, the data analysis today is not carried out in an average manner, most of the companies, studies the behavior of a customer on an individual basis so that they make his/her experience with them better.
Data = Revenue: This may make you a bit angry, but many companies are selling data. And, data being the most valuable thing, make them earn more and more cash. Data collecting companies sell the data to others so that they can earn profit from it. So, if you think that companies cannot misuse the data, then I am sorry, but you are living in a world full of myths. For instance, there is an advertising firm that wants customers to consume their ads, but they don’t have data according to individual customers. What will they do? Simple, contact data brokers who sell customers’ information in order to show the most relevant advertisements they can to earn high revenue.
Make changes in the market strategy: As I said earlier, data helps businesses to make strategic decisions. It helps them in understanding how consumers are reacting or behaving to their campaigns. Companies can easily predict what their users want and what they actually expect from them. American businessman, John Battelle once gave a great example, he said, “In the past, Google has used teams of humans to ‘read’ its street address images – in essence, to render images into actionable data. But using neural network technology, the company has trained computers to extract that data automatically – and with a level of accuracy that meets or beats human operators.”
But, don’t you think, all of these is harming our privacy? Well, there are indeed and the world we are living in we cannot do anything about it. We are connected. We are addicted. We are being used by companies to make them bigger.
Michael Arrington said, “I’m worried about privacy – the companies out there gathering data on us, the stuff we do on Twitter, the publicly scrapeable stuff on Facebook. It’s amazing how much data there is out there on us. I’m worried that it can be abused and will be abused.”
In this world, Data is everything and Tech Companies are the rulers.