The world has become increasingly data driven and, whether we like it or not, we are leaking personal data at an alarming rate, consciously and unconsciously. And companies are mining this data to try and determine what are the best products and services to create and provide us. Investopedia defines data mining as: “a process used by companies to turn raw data into useful information. By using software to look for patterns in large batches of data, businesses can learn more about their customers and develop more effective marketing strategies as well as increase sales and decrease costs. Data mining depends on effective data collection and warehousing as well as computer processing.”

But, does the data on you reveal all that you are? This is a question with many answers, some relatively frightening, as explored by Marc Goodman, “a global strategist, author and consultant focused on the disruptive impact of advancing technologies on security, business and international affairs.  Over the past twenty years, he has built his expertise in next generation security threats such as cyber crime, cyber terrorism and information warfare working with organisations such as Interpol, the United Nations, NATO, the Los Angeles Police Department and the U.S. Government. Marc frequently advises industry leaders, security executives and global policy makers on transnational cyber risk and intelligence and has operated in nearly seventy countries around the world.”

He has written a book, which I am currently working my way through, called Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable And What We Can Do About It.

What Our Data Says About Us

Goodman was recently in South Africa to speak at the launch of Investec’s new #MoreThanData campaign, where he shared some of the insights he has garnered from his years of experience. At the heart of the campaign is the premise and the understanding that, in general, we are all more than what our data says about us and, therefore, how Investec, in recognising this, is working to interact with its clients beyond these confines.

In the build-up to the advertising campaign, they interviewed three individuals, showing them what their data says about them and their responses to this. The three individuals are Luke Jedeikin, co-founder of Superbalist.com, Nothando Moleketi, food writer and co-founder of ReWare, and Abed Tau, Director of Thamani Consulting and co-founder of Tuta-Me.

What My Data Says

In addition to this, Investec recorded a couple of podcasts, chatting to various people about their journey with thoughts on what their data says about them and how it, perhaps, misses. The podcasts were hosted by Maps Maponyane, who is an Investec brand ambassador, and I was one of the interviewees. One of the questions I have always struggled to answer is “what do you do?” Here I attempt to answer. Take a listen.

Investec also produced an ad that seeks to capture the essence of how they do business, looking at people as #MoreThanData:

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