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Data Acquisition and Sharing Practices in UK Businesses

Data on a computer screen

In the age of information, data has become the new gold. The value of data is undeniable, and businesses worldwide are continuously seeking ways to harness its potential. In the United Kingdom, this is no exception. Here we dive into the world of data acquisition and sharing by UK businesses, exploring the methods they employ, the challenges they face, and the benefits they reap.

The Role of Data Acquisition

Data acquisition is the process by which businesses collect information from various sources to gain insights and make informed decisions. From e-commerce giants to small local enterprises, organisations are employing tactics such as customer surveys, online forms, and website analytics to acquire valuable data.

One common method used is Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which allows companies to collect, organise, and analyse data about their customers. This data includes contact information, purchase history, and even social media interactions. With this information, businesses can better tailor their marketing efforts and improve customer experiences.

Data Sharing Practices

Sharing data within an organisation is often as crucial as collecting it. Collaboration between departments can lead to more informed decision-making and improved customer service. UK businesses are increasingly turning to cloud-based platforms for secure data sharing. This facilitates easy access to data by authorised personnel, regardless of their physical location. A survey by Gov.UK shows that 83% of businesses use standalone devices to store and process collected data. 34% leverage cloud providers and 14% use servers they own to store data.

Data sharing extends beyond an organisation’s borders as well. B2B data sharing has seen significant growth in the UK, with companies entering partnerships to share data for mutual benefit. This is particularly common in industries such as healthcare, where sharing patient data can lead to better treatment outcomes. According to Gov.UK 17% of UK based organisations share data outside their organisation and 31% acquire or collect data from other businesses and organisations. A staggering 66% share data with other businesses.

Challenges in Data Acquisition and Sharing

While the benefits of data acquisition and sharing are undeniable, there are challenges that UK businesses face. Data privacy and security are paramount concerns, given the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Businesses must ensure they handle customer data in compliance with the law. This includes obtaining informed consent for data collection and implementing robust security measures. 47% of businesses found the ICO guidelines clear to follow and implement. However, 18% found them unclear.

Additionally, data silos, where different departments store data separately, can hinder effective data sharing within organisations. Breaking down these silos and ensuring data accessibility is a challenge that many businesses are striving to overcome.

Benefits and Opportunities

Despite the challenges, UK businesses stand to gain immensely from effective data acquisition and sharing. Data-driven decision-making leads to more targeted marketing efforts, improved customer retention, and better product development. It can also help identify emerging trends and areas for business growth.

Moreover, the data-sharing ecosystem in the UK is fostering innovation and collaboration across industries. The exchange of knowledge and insights is driving improvements in various sectors, including healthcare, finance, and technology.

Conclusion

Data acquisition and sharing are integral components of modern business operations in the UK. Businesses are leveraging various strategies and technologies to collect, organise, and share data securely. While challenges, such as data privacy and silos, persist, the benefits are undeniable, ranging from better decision-making to enhanced customer experiences and industry-wide collaboration.

As technology continues to evolve, UK businesses are poised to unlock even more insights from the valuable data they acquire and share. With responsible data handling and a commitment to data-driven practices, the future of business in the United Kingdom looks bright, promising increased innovation and efficiency.

In this data-rich era, one thing is clear: businesses that effectively acquire and share data are better positioned for success in a rapidly changing world.

If you want to learn how you can optimise your data storing and ensure compliance in your organisation, we’d love to help you. Contact our IT support team for an informal chat.

Tom Finnis

Tom Finnis is responsible for the delivery of IT support services and projects to help4IT's clients, as well as the development of the company's cloud infrastructure and related products. Tom has overseen the growth of the Help4IT technical department from 3 to 12 full-time staff, with additional contract workers, creating the systems and procedures to enable the efficient provision of the company's high level of support. More recently he has led the design and deployment of help4IT's multi-site cloud infrastructure.

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