Your Data in Safe Hands. By Alex Mott

Alex Mott shares the latest Big Data and privacy law initiatives discussed at CW Big Data.

On Thursday the 30th October the latest Big Data SIG event took place at Eversheds headquarters in London. With Halloween on the horizon it was highly appropriate that the key topic for the day should be privacy law, an area that strikes fear into the hearts of many.

There are very few buzz words that get more hype and are thrown around more frequently than ‘big data’.  Yet what last Thursday’s event really captured was some of the concerns that many members of public feel towards their data being misused or even worse, lost all together. Fortunately Dave Hughes from Eversheds was on hand to provide his own expert views on privacy law which helped eradicate many of the delegate’s fears.

Interestingly however Dave also indicated that privacy law does not have to get in the way of big data progress. The central message being ‘be prepared, but not scared’. This was undoubtedly music to the ears of many in the audience as well as the speakers in the first session of the event who identified some fascinating ways in which big data can be utilised to develop consumer insights and for direct marketing purposes.

Lorraine demonstrated how mobile data can be used to infer travel patterns while Shorful gave a master class in combining information from multiple data points to deliver a more rounded consumer profile. The audience also experienced  something new in the second session of the event with Dominic Stubbins (Esri Uk) and Mrunel Shridhar (Tableau) providing a geographical perspective on big data. Dominic illustrated how maps in particular are not only a way of telling the story of your data, but also interacting and animating with it. Mrunel gave an interactive account of how, with the right software, anyone can use graphics for more effective data coding.

However what was perhaps most notable about all the speakers from Thursday’s event was that despite their exciting innovations in the field, they still showed incredible sensitivity towards the privacy rights of the general public.  More than anything this highlights the fact that despite the time of year, consumers need not be afraid, as their data is in safe hands.


About The Author

Alex Mott


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