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October 31, 2017  •  By Matt Newman

Uncovering Opportunity in GDPR

Fresh from our OCC retail workshop — ‘GDPR: The Opportunity. Optimise the way you interact with customers’ — we explore what we learned.

By Matt Newman, Andrew Sadler and Jinna Mistry

With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just around the corner (25 May 2018), it came as no surprise that an event all about finding business opportunity in the regulation was so popular. In fact, there was so much interest, that the event was oversubscribed. Clearly, GDPR is a topic at the forefront of many people’s minds.

The workshop — which took place on the 18 October at the Gherkin, London — was eventually attended by a group of more than 20 C-level executives, VPs, Directors, Data Managers, CIOs and more; all experts with years of experience in the retail industry.

From the feedback we received, those lucky enough to get a space were extremely happy with the insight they gathered.

If you didn’t manage to get a place on the day — don’t worry. Here’s a quick overview of what we learned.

Opportunity over risk

One of the key messages from the workshop was that GDPR isn’t something retailers — or indeed any business — should shy away from. Instead, it’s an opportunity; a chance to transform the way you handle your customers’ data and derive value from that transformation.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges that need to be addressed. We spoke about retail’s ‘black-book’ data (on paper, rather than digital), and the fact that customer data is often held, unconnected, in different places.

However, although these challenges are important, it was the opportunities that really stood out on the day. We discussed, for example, the opportunity inherent in using GDPR as a reason to gather your data into one place, where the data relating to each individual customer is aggregated. Data is, after all, the lifeblood of an organisation, so making it easier to manage efficiently is always going to be good for business.

As a group, we talked about why GDPR is a chance for CIOs and the like, who’ve been trying to attain a budget for data management for years, to finally get what they need.  And we touched on the idea that GDPR is a bit like “cleaning a spare room” — a mandate to do something you’ve possibly been putting off for years; but, once done, opens up a whole new space to take advantage of.

Find out more

Hopefully, that gives you an idea of why it’s important for retailers to look beyond the difficulty GDPR presents. To find out more, read our in-depth look at the subject — GDPR: When Challenge Becomes Opportunity.

Matt Newman
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