Data

Personal information management services market to reach £16.5b

By: The Leader @theleaderspeaks
Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 09:00 GMT Jump to Comments

The market in personal data and information management services (PIMS) could grow as big as today’s automotive and pharmaceutical industries, according to a new report.

The report, written by data analysts Ctrl-Shift and funded by Nesta, the Open Identity Exchange and a number of private sector companies, attempts to model the emerging market for ‘PIMS’ services and analyse their likely impact once the market has matured.

PIMS are defined as services that help individuals gather, store and use information, including their own personal information, to help them make better decisions and manage day-to-day tasks and longer term planning.

PIMS service providers can, for example, return to individuals their purchase histories of different products and services, information about social network profiles, and their health records.

Customers using these services can then manage their relationships with suppliers and service providers rather than the other way round, volunteering information about themselves and their preferences, sometimes for convenience and sometimes in return for incentives, rather than being managed as part of a customer base or target audience.

The report says that the PIMS market is evolving rapidly, with new services launching weekly in three main categories.

Personal data management services help individuals gather, store, analyse, manage, use and share information, including personal information, leaving them in control and able to benefit from their own data.

Decision support services gather and use the information individuals need to understand their own behaviours and needs better, and therefore make better decisions and choices.

Life management services help individuals to ‘join the dots’ and plan, integrate and coordinate many different inputs to manage aspects and episodes of their lives better, such as ‘manage my money’, ‘manage my health’, and ‘move home’.

Most of these services are free to consumers and paid for by organisations wanting trusted and permissioned access to consumers’ data. Some may operate as intermediary services faciliating organisations’ engagement with customers and potential customers.

The new report attempts to put a size on this emerging market once it matures and concludes that just in the UK, personal data and life management services could become worth £11.5 bn. In addition, the mature market for decision support services could be worth £5 bn. Put together, they would account for around 1.2% of the UK economy, a figure comparable with the automotive industry (0.7%) and pharmaceuticals (0.97%).

At present, says Jessica Bland a technology researcher at Nesta, PIMS services are a niche business category that has reached few of the 27 million households in the UK used to make the £16.5 billion market estimate. However, people’s relationship with data about themselves is evolving fast and PIMS are one way to make abstract conversations about personal data, and how to balance data protection and data-driven innovation, much more concrete.

From a business perspective, says Alan Mitchell of Ctrl-Shift, one of the authors of the report, organisations working with PIMS or building their own personal information services can build trust with their customers, access richer data leading to deeper insights, differentiate their brands, reduce their costs of data management, and reach and engage with new customers. Brands that fail to respond to the rise of PIMS risk losing customer trust, having their products and services commoditised, and losing ‘ownership’ of the customer relationship.

The ‘Personal Information Management Services: An analysis of an emerging market – Understanding the impacts on UK businesses and the economy’ summary report is available here

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Information Daily, its parent company or any associated businesses.

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