Today’s hyper-connected world—and the associated emergence of new technologies like data mining, connected objects, and artificial intelligence—is driving a genuine data revolution. More than ever, it’s data that is providing the levers for digital transformation—and capitalizing on it is rapidly becoming a strategic priority for organizations.

Until now, their preferred approach has been the mass, and systematic, harvesting of personal data. Through this, organizations have built large databases that capitalize on the entirety of the “connected ecosystem”— both its personal and professional sides! But recently, the regulatory landscape has shifted in terms of privacy. The result has been a new and unprecedented level of awareness among people about the issue, an emerging crisis of confidence —a risk that organizations would do well to address. The writing is on the wall: after years of passive acceptance, people want to take back control of their data and digital privacy.

One thing is clear though: there can be no data revolution without trust. For organizations, lost trust places the adoption of their new digital offerings at risk—a real competitive disadvantage. They need to adapt, and ask themselves some searching questions: how can we reconcile the value offered by data, respect for people’s privacy, and regulatory compliance? How can we
move from a big-data to a smart-data approach? A balance clearly needs to be struck. Some will see the current situation as an opportunity, a chance, for example, to make a strength of data privacy.

And what about you? How will you capitalize on this coming revolution? What new uses will you develop—and how?