This week in data – 20th September

The consequences of the Equifax breach – which revealed the private financial details of more than 140 million Americans – continue to unravel. Now, two executives have stepped down from the credit reporting company. Both the chief security officer, Susan Mauldin, and chief information officer, David Webb, are “retiring” effectively immediately.

While there are still several unknown elements of the hack, including who perpetrated it and why, the executive fallout demonstrates just how damaging these attacks can be to board rooms. This comes just months after Sweden suffered an attack targeting government data, which resulted in the resignations of two ministers.

Payment gateways and providers have generated huge amounts of data for years. Now, McKinsey says providers are making progress in actually monetising that data by adding supplemental data sets to the information they already have, then pricing it accordingly through new business models.Whether it’s through product cross-selling or consulting services, McKinsey says payments companies are in the best position to provide value because they harbor information about both customers and merchants.

“Probably the greatest potential of data monetisation comes from merging cardholder data with data from the merchant side to gain an end-to-end view on transactions that can unlock additional value,” the analysis argues.

Some business models could include combining spending data with consulting resources to provide insights. But there are obstacles: analytics is still gaining steam in payments, talent is hard to find, and there are regulations to overcome.

In other news:

Doing business in China may just become a little harder. According to the Australian Financial Review, Australian companies operating there will be forced to hand over certain data to the government to be awarded a type of “credit score”.

This score will be used as part of new regulations to determine whether companies are complying with laws protecting worker safety, the environment and financial obligations.

This will have a huge impact on doing business there, experts say – a serious warning given Australia’s present and future monetary ties to south-east Asia. The data could even include sales and pricing information.

Worth a read:

The devastation caused by the recent hurricanes in the United States has prompted massive search and rescue operations…some of which are now being fueled by data. Forbes details how NASA analytics, sensors, and machine learning helped identify staging areas, evacuation routes, and likely flooding areas.

Could data help improve electronic health records? They’ve been promised for years, but many professionals are still disappointed in progress according to a new survey. Improved data management and analytics could help bring things back on track, experts say.

Until next week.

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