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Digital footprints are highly sought after by businesses because that information helps them understand their consumers’ online activities. Thus, they are afforded an opportunity to tweak their services to better suit their customers’ needs. But with data privacy concerns rising, it’s critical for companies to navigate this process in a safe and ethical manner. take measures to protect their customers’ data from breaches.
What’s ahead: In this article, we’ll cover the different types of digital footprints, how businesses can use them to their advantage, and how organizations can leverage digital footprints securely and with compliance.
What is a digital footprint?
A digital footprint is the data left behind from someone’s online activities. Examples of digital footprints include:
Data from digital footprints is collected, collated, stored, and analyzed by many different types of organizations. The average person generates 1.7 megabytes of data per second.
Data brokers are companies that legally collect and provide data to companies, who use it to enhance their business processes. To put into perspective the amounts of data collected, the global data broker market was valued at $232.634 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.80% over the forecast period to reach US$345.153 billion by 2026.
Types of digital footprints
There are 2 types of digital footprints, passive and active.
A passive footprint is produced when information is collected from the user they unintentionally leave online. Examples include:
An active footprint contains information purposely shared by an individual. Examples include:
How Businesses Identify Digital Footprints
A slightly less obvious way companies identify individuals is to use their operating systems, browser specifications, processor, graphics, and monitors to put together unique visitor profiles.
However, new legislation requires that websites offer visitors an opportunity to either opt in or opt out of data tracking. The EU Cookie Law and GDPR require compliancy from websites and returns the power of privacy back to the consumer.
Analyzing Data Footprints
Now that businesses have information from consumer digital footprints, how do they pull business insights from it?
Advanced analytic platforms leverage deep mathematical and statistical foundations and state-of-the-art analytical techniques including deep learning, machine learning, neural networks, and natural language processing. The outcomes are actionable insights needed to enhance customer experiences, accelerate product lifecycles, improve resource allocation, and increase operating efficiencies.
Data visualization solutions enable businesses to bring their data to life in easy-to-understand formats. Interactive visual dashboards allow business users to quickly identify trends and valuable business insights. Thus, your data is in a format that’s easier to understand and distribute, increasing the speed and likelihood of organizational buy-in.
Using Digital Footprints for Business Outcomes
Now that their data is analyzed, businesses can use consumers’ digital footprints to be innovators in their fields and gain competitive advantages. Having a thorough understanding of their customers’ needs and wants, companies have a better opportunity to meet expectations, ensure a dynamic experience, avert negative feedback, grow their customer base, and increase sales. Overall, understanding consumers’ digital footprints will allow businesses to provide a better, more personalized customer experience.
Here are a few ways businesses leverage digital footprints to create competitive advantage:
Keeping Data Secure
Consumer data is a valuable resource and should be treated as such. Enterprise data management services provide a centralized governance and management model to ensure a streamlined, standardized system for organizations to effectively create, integrate, disseminate, and manage data. Having a data management strategy will help your organization handle consumer digital footprint information with compliance, safety, and accuracy.
Here are a few other measures companies are taking to protect their customers’ data from cybercriminals and breaches:
Digital Footprints for Personalized Experiences
Businesses collect and store massive amounts of data, much of which comes from digital footprints. In turn, companies use this information to enhance their marketing, advertising, customer service, and decision-making efforts. With data, businesses can strive to improve their level of service and quality of products. The rise in data privacy concerns and cybercriminal activity has led many companies to strengthen their data security protocols. Consumers and businesses alike need to be sensitive when it comes to digital footprints. Consumers must be cognizant as to what they share online, while businesses must be intentional about the way in which they manage that data.
To learn more about harnessing your consumers’ data responsibly, check out Apexon’s Data Visualization services and Apexon’s Data Management services.
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