Consumer Empowerment Big Data's Latest Buzz Word

Consumer Empowerment Big Data's Latest Buzz Word


Organizations are capitalizing on consumer empowerment by engaging them in transparent data transactions, creating a win-win scenario. Usage-based insurance (UBI) models and wearable devices like Fitbit exemplify this trend. Around 50% of consumers in the US, UK, and Australia are willing to share personal data for incentives and loyalty programs. Transparent data exchanges enable accurate pricing for UBI, informed health decisions, and better patient outcomes. This approach, where consumers retain privacy while receiving benefits, holds potential for various industries as Big Data continues to shape consumer-business dynamics.

Organizations desirous of placing themselves ahead in today’s cut-throat competitive scenario are choosing to treat their clients like valuable data owners. They are distinguishing themselves competitively, increasing overall brand loyalty, and reaping lucrative financial rewards in return. Usage-based insurance (UBI) modules and Fitbit are primary instances of the ways in which customers are trading personal data in the form of transparent market transactions. 

Yes, as per the results of a recent survey carried out by SDL, 50 percent of U.S., U.K. and Australia based consumers were okay with divulging personal information in lieu of product/service incentives and/ or loyalty programs. Take a look at how consumer empowerment is aiding Big Data’s cause.

Role of Consumers in Big Data Management

In today’s competitive scenario, both organizations, as well as consumers have significant roles to play. Thereby, business organizations engaging their customers in transparent data transactions are fast leveraging the advantages of Big Data and in better ways. 

Alistair Croll, the founder of Solve For Interesting, said, “I think a defining moral issue of the next decade will be that nobody should know more about your life than you do.” He was addressing the Strata + Hadoop World conference in San Jose, California. He further added that the present generation was in the infancy stage of a forthcoming phase, wherein modern culture would be totally transformed by information and data flows attributed to Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and other IT giants.

Insurance that’s Usage-Based

Commercial truckers, individual motorists, and concerned parents--they are all keeping a close track of their driving behaviour with the aid of vehicle sensors. Because of this, their personal driving profiles are being used for estimating auto insurance prices by usage-based insurance companies. 

As both parties, the insurer and the insured, are aware of the risks in store, the resultant insurance plans serve to be more accurate than otherwise. Additionally, consumer empowerment through the integration of such Big Data based applications permits clients to reduce their risks to a larger extent. For instance, in the month of April, John Hancock Financial had offered discounts to those policyholders who donned personal health devices like Fitbits; courtesy the data that came their way as result of usage based insurance applications.

Lifestyle and Personal Health Decisions

It’s true, well-informed patients and others make better health and lifestyle based decisions; likewise, informed doctors offer better care. Does this not necessitate the requirement for sharing vital Big Data for more lucrative initiatives and incentives? 

These days, start-ups such as Cipher Health are enabling their clients to receive diet, sleep and exercise metrics via data-centric wearables that connect them to their health-care providers, directly.  With these applications in place, reminder calls triggered by risks (sudden drop in weight, spiking of blood pressure, etc.) can be resolved before the situation gets out of control. Think Apple Health Kit and Apple Watch that are helping users adjust exercise regimes, take their medication on time, go for recommended screenings, and so forth. Here, results are bringing about a reduction in costly hospital visits and leading to better patient outcomes; thereby benefiting both sides.

Broad Application of the Model

For decades in a row, it has been commonplace for vendors to offer willing participants free treats for sharing their opinions; and current day loyalty cards are adopting the same approach. This model is capable of being put to use by any retail or financial services company for greater success--only if they allow customers to retain their privacy and do not forfeit their personal data to provide access to products/ services on sale. 

With Big Data taking bigger strides into the lives of consumers worldwide, it is time that organizations started practicing this philosophy to win; especially in the years to come. 


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