Making data work in a post-GDPR world

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Kerry Edwards 28th January 2019 3 minute read

Making data work in a post-GDPR world

Our latest edition of Intelligence takes a look at ‘The Power of Data’ – exploring how organisations’ use of customer data will continue to change and shift in 2019. A key factor in organisations' evolving approach to data is the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in 2018. Here, Customer Experience Director for Capita Customer Management Kerry Edwards explains how businesses can achieve better, insight-driven outcomes in a post-GDPR world.

It’s been nine months since GDPR was introduced and wrought huge change in the way personal data is viewed and regulated. But contrary to some dire predictions, it hasn’t debilitated organisations’ ability to use customer data. In some respects it’s actually encouraged businesses towards smarter approaches and better results, and given new laser-like focus around their customer experience ambitions.

Customer Experience Director Kerry Edwards explains that though businesses were largely anxious about the introduction of GDPR, the subsequent sense of accountability that has come as a result of the regulations is a positive outcome. “It’s accountability around intent,” she explains. “Organisations are not just collecting information for the sake of it. It’s led them to have much more clarity about the purpose of using or reviewing the data they have on their end users.”

Ultimately, Kerry says, the increased level of caution that many businesses felt was highly necessary. “There were lots of businesses not really functioning in the right way, or treating data properly. It did need a short, sharp shock to force organisations to create an opinion about what they were using their data for, rather than just bumbling along collecting it and archiving it without any sense of why.”

The key message for organisations to remember is to have a clear plan for how customer data is going to be used. “We’ve been able to help a number of clients realise that if you’re really clear what you’re doing with your data, GDPR is not something to be frightened of, and it’s not something that’s going to be overly restrictive.”

Capita is now helping clients to reach that clarity, and get the most from their data. We have a wealth of data available from our deep insight into consumer behaviours in the UK, and by combining this with clients’ data about their own customers we can add enormous value.

Thanks to GDPR, Kerry states, this exercise is now more effective than ever. “If we want clients to give us access to their data, we’re required to say what we’re going to do with is, what our role is, what our levels of security are, etc. We have to say it’s for this purpose and be really clear about what that purpose is.” This added level of detail, she adds, “reinforces the way we support clients to understand how their product or service is going to be delivered to their end customers, and it gives a better result for those end users too.”

Kerry’s advice for clients struggling with the implications of GDPR is to “’look for the so what’. Data can sometimes be difficult to translate into meaningful insight. Capita helps to bring clarity in creating the overall purpose. How will this insight help us improve? What will be the human outcome of it all? What product, service or experience are you trying to build or deliver for your end user and what insight do we need in order to make changes with confidence?”

To read the full article from Kerry Edwards, check out our latest edition of Intelligence. Get your free copy here.

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