This week in data – 7th June

The banks have been in the spotlight regarding data once again, with Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison now saying the recent move to make financial institutions share their data with customers will enable better interest rates for mortgages and credit cards.

The open data plan, Morrison says, will allow consumers to share their transaction histories – enabling banks to reduce their risk and provide better deals. The comment also comes after the Productivity Commission report into data and information found businesses and governments in Australia need to adopt data-driven business models and decisions more quickly.

Meanwhile, Google has launched a new management service for the Internet of Things.

Called Google Cloud IoT Core, the service will help businesses manage their connected devices and capture their data – allowing them to find new insights and become more efficient.

It’s a timely move. More businesses are installing connected devices, but struggling to see how they can make business life easier. By enabling businesses to collect that data and analyse it, Google will allow businesses to gain a bigger perspective – the service allows businesses to visualise the data as well.

In other news…

You might have heard of the 80-20 rule – but a new piece over at Forbes says the growth of digital networks suggests that rule is changing. In fact, the piece argues that companies like Apple, Google and Amazon are growing in very different ways compared to traditional businesses, and that this is why regulators are having such a hard time clamping down on them.

The key point is this: these companies are built around the idea of networks, and as those internal networks grow, the companies become more powerful. This, in turn, helps keep out any potential competitors and places power in the hands of just a few giants. While the piece offers no concrete answers, it simply warns us that we ought to be aware of the fact this is happening.

Is data privacy a competition issue? According to this piece at Wired, it may be. The essay examines how antitrust approaches are changing in the wake of tech giants, and that experts are now wondering whether “consumer welfare” needs to be at the forefront of any approach.

There’s a problem, however – as these tech platforms become more ensconced in our lives, cracking the antitrust barrier becomes increasingly hard. “These platforms are so entrenched and have been for awhile,” says Lina Khan, fellow at the Open Markets program at New America.


The UK is about to go to the polls, and this piece over at The Conversation examines what role privacy has to play in the election – especially after the NHS was hit with a crippling cyberattack in May. The two major parties have differing views on what it will take to keep British citizens safe.

Our own CEO, Paul McCarney, has written an explanation of why businesses need to come up with a systematic way of valuing information in order to unlock new business models and ultimately, a new wave of prosperity. If you’re a business handling information, then you don’t want to miss this one – you could be sitting on a gold mine and not even know it.

Until next week.

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