Speaker Tyler chides citizens over action against health workers

Dolo, others guilty in drug case

Suspected Ebola patient dies after being denied treatment

Alarming: Ebola death rate in Liberia hits 271

To contain Ebola: No access to Bomi

Transparent use of consumer data can grow market

I recently went upcountry and had a chat with some rural folks about voter registration. I sought to understand why the uptake was slower than anticipated – at least from their point of view. Someone explained that there was suspicion that the info collected in the process would be shared with other government departments.

Thank fully this was clarified by the electoral body. The consumer concern is however no unfounded. If you have a credit card, a mobile money account, and a super market loyalty card, then its possible for me to map out your transactions and consumption behaviour. Combining disparate information about the people we sell to,  we can relate one piece of information with another. The more sources and the more correlation the clearer a picture we will be able to draw.
The term “Big Data “ has been used to refer to this phenomenon. It is mainly driven by consumer use of electronic and mobile data storage and service.

By virtue of these services capturing data on their users the companies obtain detailed information on their customers. According to a paper by Gerd leonhard, the value of the information gathered and how it is used will be so vast as to equate to data becoming the new oil. Owners of data will be able to address consumers based on inferred or collected data. They will also be able to save huge amounts on marketing costs due to lower wastage levels as they address customers likely or ready to buy.

While consumers often feel spooked at the idea of someone watching their every move, the trend globally is for transparency to underpin the use of data. Consumers necessarily must know how and what the companies are doing with information they collect about them. Many companies now give free products in exchange of information about consumers.
A car company can for instance provide free service or engine examination in exchange for a data base of the owners of a specific model. The cost benefit of the use of data is thus partially passed on to the consumer.

The collaboration of various holders of data also serves to make it more valuable. A car company that collaborates with an airline or travel agency will build a better picture of the travel needs of its car owners, combine these with data from a petroleum company and a wholesome story may be told about driving and vehicle use.

Social networks will also work to build more information to data users. While such access to information is unlikely to go unregulated, there are already non regulatory structures in existence, these include guidelines by associations that aggregate direct marketing and on-line marketing companies (DMMA and MMA ).

Governments around the world are also building regulatory structures around data collection and usage. The US government's battles with internet companies are famous and this is likely to spread to other parts of the world. Of importance as earlier stated, companies will need transparency in managing this new oil.

About the Author

Frank is lead consultant at FMC and CEO at mobile agency Sponge East Africa. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frank serves as the lead consultant at FMC a Communications planning and digital media company. He has served as CEO of media agency PHD and Media director for media agencies, Universal McCann, Media Initiative and Mediaedge. He is also Founder co-chair of the mobile marketing association in East Africa and a regular trainer on media and marketing.

Frank has worked in marketing in various roles. He served as head of marketing at Trust card in 1997 and later joined the advertising industry. He oversaw the media accounts of Coca-Cola, Diageo and Reckitt Benckiser among several brands he has worked with. Frank has a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from the UON.

Also on Heritage

Ellen consoles China
MONROVIA - President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has sent a Message of Condolence to the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China, following the unfortunate news of an earthquake in Yunnan Providence,
LNP vows to enforce Traffic Law
MONROVIA - The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Col. C. Chris Massaquoi has vowed to enforcethe ‘Improper Carrying Law’ aimed at buttressing the Government of Liberia (GoL) effort in fight against the deadly Ebola epidemic. 
Health Minister: Ebola’s fight beyond Health Ministry’s range
MONROVIA - The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter T. Gwenegale, says the Ministry with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) has tried its best in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, but said the fight has now gone beyond the Ministry’s range.
Ellen vexed over blocking of  waterway
MONROVIA - In the wake of the erosion which has affected the rear fence of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has instructed the Ministry of Public Works to lead a team charged with the responsibility to clear all man-made structures obstructing the drainages and flo
Doe Community residents alarm deplorable road condition but...
MONROVIA - Residents of the Samuel Kanyan  Doe Community have again, alarmed over the continual deplorable road condition  in the area.
Death Trap: How LEC is endangering citizens' lives
MONROVIA - Residents of Monrovia and its environs have expressed concern over open hole left by the Liberia Electricity Corporation holes in the city and its environs without any safety measure for citizens, most of whom commute the city streets on a daily basis in a bid to get livelihood.
Finance, Planning finally become one
MONROVIA - The merger of the Ministries of Finance (MoF) and Planning and Economic Affair (MPEA) has finally being formalized.

Editorial

The fight against Ebola is everybody’s business! The reinforced campaign against the fast growing Ebola virus in our country is h... More detail
Our message to the would be candidates & voters From our vantage point, we want to cautiously urge all the would be candidates i... More detail