New “Data Generation” use personal information as “bargaining chips” for better quality of life

A new generation has emerged that is acutely aware of its consumer capital and the benefits this brings to individuals and society, according to a study by SAS, the leader in analytics and the Future Foundation, an independent research agency.

The majority (69%) of this “Data Generation” (compromising 16- to 34-year-olds) view their own personal information as “bargaining chips” to enhance their lives. The “Data Generation” expect a hyper-personalised service from brands, who risk failing to survive in this new environment if they don’t exploit open and cloud-ready advanced analytics to better understand these customers.

This “Data Generation” expects hyper-personal insight into every aspect of their lives, where their habits, preferences and moods are taken into account so that predictive analytics can enhance their health, prosperity and future life potential. Only 12% are happy to share their personal data without a second thought. Yet, when asked to consider sharing in specific situations their psyche changed – with nearly three in five (57%) willing to share their own data to make their lives easier.

More than two-thirds (67%) are comfortable sharing with the healthcare sector, 57% with financial institutions, 50% with the public sector, 45% with utilities, 32% with retailers and just 28% with social media companies. These preferences differed depending on their levels of trust and the value they recoup for sharing their data:

  • Healthcare: Propensity to share driven by desire to optimise future health: Keen to improve the NHS, 40% are happy for the NHS to sell their anonymised data to third parties.
  • Public sector: Appetite to share hindered by concern it could be used against them: 62% are sceptical that the data they share is used well by government agencies.
  • Retail: Welcoming an era of ‘Me Me’ pricing: Having wised up to enhanced marketing techniques, more than half (51%) will purposefully abandon their virtual shopping basket at checkout to benefit from retailer re-targeting that induces a better price.
  • Energy: An exposed generation looking for control: Only 18% trust their energy supplier to find them the best deal, leaving more than half (51%) interested in home control apps in the future. Worryingly, only 48% would ‘share their energy consumption with energy suppliers to help them manage personal energy consumption and capacity at the national grid’.
  • Financial institutions: Consumers seek hyper-personalised control: Nearly three in five (58%) are interested in a service that calculates future financial situations using current work trajectory and spending habits and see potential from sharing their driving habits with insurers – such as being guided to cheaper petrol stations (41%), having coffee pre-prepared at stop-offs (21%) and offers on the move (23%).
  • Social media: Hold back from social media sharing: Amid corporate over-sharing and the eroding of trust, 68% are uncomfortable sharing data with social media companies. 

Mark Wilkinson, SAS regional vice president – Northern Europe, said: “The Data Generation are amenable to sharing more forms of data, provided it gives them control as they navigate turbulent macro-economic conditions and fluid career projections. The organisations that will prosper in the future, will demonstrate how they can enhance the Data Generation’s life potential and that of society. This will require organisations to embrace analytics architectures that are more accessible, flexible and can easily scale to problems of any size. All industries need access to a simple, open and cloud-ready platform that can complement other technologies and open source software.”

This is an era where organisations make multi-million pound decisions based on access to highly relevant and personal customer insights derived from enhanced computational power and analytics. The “Data Generation” is driven by new motivations that society is not yet fully accustomed to. For sectors to provide the new data savvy generation with what they are looking for, they must understand their motivations. This is a generation that:

  • Worry that their jobs will be replaced by robots: They recognise a need for dexterity in learning, with 78% expecting to keep learning new skills throughout their life, and four out of 10 prepared to invest either their own time or money into acquiring data science skills.
  • Feel financially naked: As they experience turbulent macroeconomic conditions, austerity measures and fluid career projections they look to their own data to gain control and self-sufficiency.
  • Want to quantify every aspect of their lives: Being visibly in control is a powerful aspiration, with almost two-thirds (61%) interested in collecting and interpreting real-time information to make better life choices.
  • Expect total recall: They have embraced information recovery, with 65% expecting brands to have total recall of previous interactions to help them find exactly what they are looking for.
  • Are becoming a generation of forecasters: Want the ability to predict every aspect of their lives to feel more in control of their own futures.
  • Look to computers to learn for them: Artificial intelligence is becoming a computerised advantage offering a personal touch to individuals to help them predict future scenarios by converting the analysis of large data sets into natural language.
  • Live in a ‘Me Me Me World’: Expect hyper personal communication based on lifestyle, beliefs, moods and aspirations that feed into the what, when, why and how they are communicated with.