A case for central control of business relationship data – data as a service

Do you ever get tired of giving businesses both online and offline your data over and over again? Well, I do and it gets increasingly frustrating when that data is used for the wrong reasons other than that for which you submitted it for. When any of your particulars change it is next to impossible to update all these entities with your information due to time and logistical constraints.

Consumers need a way to manage their core data centrally and to share it with the different business entities that they engage with. As these entities are not all created equal, mechanisms to allow consumer controlled  vendor access of certain data sets must be made available. Businesses would have to adhere to strict terms that honor the privacy and use of data for which they can be given access.

For many businesses, creating and owning consumer data is a big deal but I suggest that we look at it from a different angle. {Typical of our socialization as Kenyans, we think that landownership is the the end game, while you can still mint a pretty sum from leasing and focusing on value addition…keep this in mind while digesting the idea of consumer data ownership}While it is agreeable that having a database to call your own is key, as you can choose to engage with it whichever way you choose, there are inherent costs to running and maintaining this database. Whether as a corporate or SME, this function of building and maintaining may actually detract from the core business function not to mention the additional cost.

You may argue that this may happen on some level on customer relationship management platforms, but the key differentiator is that ownership, control and access provision all lie with the consumer.

How would this work? Initially it requires an organization or company with access to a larger database of consumers who can be profiled deeper and roped into the service. The consumer is then provided with a dashboard from which they can manage their business relationships. I would for example see that the local clothing store requested for access to my email and mobile phone number for purposes of contacting me should there be new stock that  would interest me. I have been receiving their sms and email alerts, but now I no longer wish to receive them. A simple revoking of sms privileges from my dashboard would ensure that I only continue to receive email but not sms communication from the store. If I do change my email address, then the business can still reach me without having to undergo the costs of sanitizing the data, had they owned it.

We are in an era where many business functions will move into the service category and this I would call Data as a Service {DAAS}

An Africa based entrepreneur in the pursuit of opportunities without regard to resources currently controlled striving to build services that have real-world value for my beloved continent and beyond while having fun along the way.

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