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Keep it realFull of thought

Sharing your private data could help make you happier at work

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If you have your data privacy breached, you might feel violated. Aside from that, what does it actually do?



As a provider of data integration and advanced analytics services, you wouldn’t expect us to question this. But here’s the thing: giving up your data could help make you happier.

First, let’s take a moment to evaluate what actually happens when your data is used. In most cases, you’ll be presented with targeted ads, or skewed product recommendations that are more likely to be of interest to you. Governments will use it to determine chances of criminal behaviour, political stance, travel eligibility, or if you raise alarm bells based on your connections. In some cases, someone could get access to your money, and thankfully it's in the banks interest to look after you.

Now, let’s consider what’s at stake financially. On a macroeconomic scale, data security firm McAfee estimates it costs the world $400 billion+ per year on cyber crime. In fact, cyber-crime is growing at an alarming rate - and why wouldn’t it? It has less competition and lower risk than other investments, provides massive return, and requires less capital to start.

On a personal level, it just feels bad to lose your data. It’s a loss of control, and when we use language like “privacy violation” we feel even worse and like to protest about it too. The change adoption curve below illustrates how we react to change. In this case, we're still new when it comes to sharing our data - and as a result, you'll hear people complain about it often.


If we weren’t already fighting a tough battle, humans feel loss twice as much, psychologically as they do gains. This means using encryption services to protect your data is going to give you far less comfort than the corresponding feeling of loss when your data privacy is breached.

This sparked an interesting debate in the office around employee surveillance - and if you’re like most people, your mouth probably did a downswing and your brows furrowed just a bit when you read that. But what if that surveillance generated real insights that could be used to make changes that make you happier? For example, you could track how long employees sit at their desk behind a screen, how many phone calls they make during the day, how many times they laugh, how many times they interacted with other staff, when and where those interactions occurred. You could cross reference this with personality profiling and already build a better picture of whether or not the working environment is conducive to their happiness. Predictive analytics can give you some great ways to go about improving employee happiness.


How do you feel about having your data available to the highest bidder? And remember, companies like Facebook who gain about $5 per year from each active user, are not bidding very high.


If you think companies have taken it too far, or if you're excited about what predictive analytics could do for you - leave your comments below.


If you'd like to know more about how predictive analytics could help your organisation download the brochure below.

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