Mind the trust gap: Winning back confidence with data management

Mind the trust gap: Winning back confidence with data management

  • Jean-Michel Franco
    Jean-Michel Franco is Director of Product Marketing for Talend. He has dedicated his career to developing and broadening the adoption of innovative technologies in companies. Prior to joining Talend, he started out at EDS (now HP) by creating and developing a business intelligence (BI) practice, joined SAP EMEA as Director of Marketing Solutions in France and North Africa, and then lately Business & Decision as Innovation Director. He authored 4 books and regularly publishes articles, presents at events and tradeshows and can be followed on Twitter: @jmichel_franco

In the age of the internet, social media, and fake news, society is facing a crisis of confidence. Consumers and companies are skeptical of what they read and hear because they’ve been misled time and time again; alternative realities are blurring perceptions of what is real and what is fiction.

In addition to distrusting the integrity of information received from the government and internet, consumers lack trust in the intentions of companies and how they use the sensitive, personal data that they gather.

This trust gap has manifested itself globally in political demonstrations, brand boycotts, and other displays of resistance. It has also been brought to the forefront of technology through new regulations designed to safeguard the privacy of individuals. Lack of trust in the enterprise leads to apprehension of relationships and even withdrawal of business from organizations that don’t prioritize customer assurance. In order to address the trust gap, organizations must create a strategy to provide transparency through data management and comply with regulations.

Customer consequences

For enterprises, lack of trust poses a serious problem. If entities lose control of their communication with key stakeholders, customers will lose trust in them and take their business elsewhere.

Companies need to take new steps to control their data to ensure trust, transparency, and openness. The problem is, it’s increasingly difficult to create trust in a world where everything is "data," everything is accelerating, and anyone can easily appropriate what’s "real" by taking over the torch of trust with ads, targeted programming, and fake news.

According to research firm Gartner Inc., in 2022, the majority of individuals living in developed economies will consume more distorted information than reliable information. By 2021, creation of counterfeit information derived from artificial intelligence (AI) will surpass AI's ability to detect them. This will reinforce a sense of digital mistrust.

Today more than ever, it’s imperative that companies bring their most genuine self to the table. Whether it’s an advertisement campaign or a sales pitch, enterprise companies must be as honest and straightforward as possible to cut through the noise of the political climate and assure customers of their intentions. Sincerity is a key component in addressing confidence concerns from customers. This sincerity extends into a genuine willingness and transparency in complying with data trust regulations.

Remedy relationships with enthusiasm for compliance

Faced with a loss of trust and concerns about privacy, national and federal institutions have responded in part through regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These efforts are intended to remind organizations that they have to offer products with respect to those who consume them, to create services in respect of those who use them, and to deploy technologies and processes that protect the data privacy of citizens.

Instead of viewing GDPR and other impending local legislation as constraints, organizations can leverage these laws to create an opportunity to reevaluate and revamp their processes, demonstrate transparency, and reclaim a sense of responsibility and accountability.

GDPR offers companies a timely reason to reconnect with the customers and demonstrate their data usage practices to maintain a positive working relationship. Both technically and personally, GDPR is an opportunity as much as a restriction. After assuring customers of clean data policies, companies must follow up on their guarantee.

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Digital platforms need to be able to collect data at scale in order to create a single point of trust where the data can be quality proofed, categorized, and protected. Through data governance, data can be controlled, and can be transformed, and enriched to ensure accountability.

With a data management platform that supports data integration, sharing, discovery, and governance, companies can track and trace what’s happening in their companies. Employees across the board are accountable for data quality, security and use, and support the concept of having “whistle blowers,” people who can sound the alarm when something is not right with their processes, for example. This will foster transparency—and therefore greater trust.

By establishing a groundwork for trust, companies can avoid the breaking point with customers.

Trust Takeaway

Consumers are demanding more transparency, accuracy, and accountability from companies – especially with regard to how their data is used. Companies that fail to create a culture of trust risk losing customers and revenue.

One of the keys to building trust and creating transparency is the approach to handling data and data management. Data is the currency of the digital marketplace and an extremely valuable corporate resource that helps define how organizations interact with the outside world.

The emergence of regulations such as GDPR are indicative of today’s society demanding more transparency and openness about how organizations are managing and using personal data, and the same demand is appearing in states like California and New York today. Companies must demonstrate their sincere dedication to compliance and show up by being transparent with how data is managed to thrive in order to shake today’s trust landscape.


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