OPINION12 July 2021

Protecting privileged information: Trust in data

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Behavioural economics Covid-19 FMCG Opinion UK

Whether it be ‘passively’ collected or declared behaviour, trust in the usage of data is vital, says James Oates, UK analytics director at Nielsen.

Paper torn showing words 'private and confidential'

I recently presented on the impact of Covid-19 on macro consumer spending habits in UK supermarkets and the forecast for the coming year. I have made an annual market presentation for several years, but this survey statement really grabbed my attention: ‘My number one concern is to get food onto the table.’

This response came from a large number of households that have been newly impacted by the virus. These are people who may have been furloughed, or are experiencing a change in their economic situation, affecting the way they live.

As ever with data, a comparative observation really brought this to life; among households that feel insulated from the financial impact of Covid-19, their number one concern is ‘to be able to meet friends and family again’.

This is really personal information. The analysis served as a reminder to me of how privileged we, as data analysts, are to be able to get everyday access into the lives of the consumer. Even better ...