I am a data geek at heart. As a kid, reading the back of baseball cards, studying mileage charts, or analyzing city populations could fill a weekend. In college, I obsessed over analyzing odds of every casino game. Yes, the results showed the best bet was to simply walk away. No, I did not take my own advice.
As an adult, I am fascinated by weird stats. Useless facts like 34% of adults sleep with a stuffed animal / blanket or the global rate for washing hands after using the toilet is under 20% (yuck!). My endless data usually leads to endless eye-rolls from my friends and family. So, it is not a surprise that my entire professional career has centered on data. For the past twenty years, I have managed systems and teams responsible for the generation, collection, integration, and analysis of data.
These systems provide insight into the decision-making process, creating a competitive advantage. The benefits include improved measurement, better understanding of customer behavior, and increased efficiency. Recently, technology advancements led to more creative ways to leverage data. Ten years ago, the common approach was to bulk load data into a large system and conduct analysis about past events. Although still relevant, these monolithic solutions have taken a back seat to new innovation leveraging instant, real-time analysis as data is being generated. Combined with emerging technology such as IOT, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning, organizations have an abundance of tools to explore data, and if not careful, exploit data. If implemented with proper policies, governance, and controls in place, these solutions can be a win – win for both the company and their customers. Without proper privacy principles embedded in architecture, companies run the risk of lost customer confidence, negative publicity, and imposed legislative fines.
Several recent surveys show a growing group of consumers who are concerned with their information privacy and are changing brand loyalty based on how a company is handling their personal data. Those organizations who build digital, data, and AI solutions with transparency and ethics in mind will win over this emerging group.
Consumer advocacy organizations are championing tighter privacy rights and legislators are passing new regulations protecting customer privacy. At a minimum, organizations need to be compliant with these new rules and regulations. As a target, organizations should take considerable care in their handling of personal data and ensure their insights (both human and machine driven) are ethical. This will positively impact the bottom line as brand loyalty increases, effective use of data increases, and potential fines decrease.
Desiring a career focused on innovative technology advancements and the balance of privacy, I recently left my job running a large national data and analytics group to start a consultancy focusing on information privacy and ethical technology advancements. I have enjoyed seeing our solutions positively impact organizations through the years. However, the use of privacy best practices must increase before potential brand erosion occurs.
Boundree is focusing on three primary pillars:
- Strategy Solutions – privacy workshops, regulatory and legislative requirements, data flow and inventory, risk assessments, architecture reviews, awareness training, and privacy program guidelines
- Implementation Solutions – customer record unification, information quality, anonymization and de-identification, privacy by design and data minimization architecture, subject access requests (SARs), incident response systems, data protection and information security, issue detection utilizing AI and analytics
- Privacy as a Service – Chief Privacy Officer for rent, ongoing support and maintenance of privacy programs, periodic awareness training and audits, onboarding new technology, updating policy & process
Finally, open collaboration, healthy debate, and decision democratization fuels an organization’s ability to positively impact the communities it serves. These values are cultural pillars within Boundree and will help us live up to our mission statement which is to be the premier information privacy management consultancy promoting compliant and ethical use of data and artificial intelligence by contributing best practices to the privacy and technical communities.I look forward to continuing to share our highs and lows through this entrepreneur endeavor. If nothing else, it should be a rewarding experience and look forward to helping our clients improve their customer confidence and loyalty.