Data protection

Into the 2020s - the age of data

The last 10 years saw technology become firmly integrated into our daily lives and with it the volume and pace of data we each generated grow exponentially. It’s not surprising that looking back at a decade that brought us Instagram, iPads, 4G, 5G, Blockchain and the Uber app, should also have brought us the largest ever data breach (to date), the Cambridge Analytica Scandal following and GDPR.

But be honest, if we thought that the last decade was fast-paced and characterised by change the 2020s will only see technology and data becoming even further ingrained in our lives.

We’ll likely witness the rise of AI-as-a-service, autonomous driving, a Facebook cryptocurrency, extended reality, computer vision and much more. These technologies aren’t pie in the sky as the Internet of Things reaches maturity and the use cases for AI and Machine Learning become clearer we’re already seeing hundreds of start-ups aggressively chasing the opportunities that they will afford.

Data is the only thing that not only powers individual technologies and services but also promises to connect across devices, technologies and touch point to bring a more human-centric future to the fore.

It is undeniable that the 20s will bring unprecedented volumes of data. If we thought the 2010s gave us a run for our money, as the song says: you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The prediction is that by 2025 we’ll be creating 163 zettabytes of data per year and that an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times each day. Now that works out at one interaction every 18 seconds - give or take.

Experts believe data analysis will grow by a factor of 50 with investment doubling between now and 2025 and more than a quarter of all data created will be in real-time.

With ever increasing volumes of real time, unstructured data come amazing opportunities and insights but these will be balanced by increasingly stringent privacy and security concerns. In many organisations, the Data Controller role will be elevated to the C-suite and the challenge will be to find new ways to engage and drive shared value from customers over time. With that, data literacy will become a common requirement in job ads and data basics will no longer be a nice-to-have, but a must have.

Data driven marketing will grow in importance, with analytics getting better enabling more relevant, customer-journey triggered campaigns. Personalisation will take in a new meaning - rather than focusing on semantics, it will be far deeper enabling marketers to deliver what has now been the promise of the past decade: truly one-to-one experiences that are timely, targeted and meaningful for both the customer and brand.

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