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Scotland must lead the data revolution through ethics and inclusivity .. DMA

by on April 30, 2019 in Digital Marketing, Events & Awards, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Research, Scotland, Search Marketing

Scotland must lead the data revolution through ethics and inclusivity .. DMA

The DMA recently hosted a reception in the Scottish Parliament as part of its Value of Data campaign.

The Value of Data project explores the ethical questions that arise from the use of data and the event brought together MSPs, business leaders and data experts to discuss revolutionising how the professional world views and values data.

Scotland is uniquely placed to become a world leader in data ethics – but the industry must start asking the difficult questions now: How can the professional world use data to create a fairer society?

How can business, academia, government and wider society create frameworks to ensure ethical questions are considered?

Addressing some of the key issues at hand, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills said: “We must ensure we operate in an environment in which we have faith. Rarely a day goes by when we see data in the news.

But all to often, we see data in the news for negative reasons. But we can help change this by bringing the public with us, through getting respect for the safe and ethical use of data.”

He continued: “Using data ethically isn’t a barrier to using data effectively. It is the only sustainable way of maintaining public trust and secure the benefits of big data.”

A number of MSPs attended, including Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvie MSP, Conservative shadow digital minister Finlay Carson MSP—who offered opening and closing remarks at the event—and SNP convenor of Digital Participation Cross-Party Group Willie Coffey MSP.

Finlay Carson MSP, shadow digital minister, commented:

“Data is the thing leading the fourth industrial revolution. Scotland has led the other three previously, and there’s no doubt that with quality of data and fintech companies we have, we’re in the position to can take the country forward. And absolutely we can be leaders not just in Europe but across the world.”

The DMA has partnered with the University of Edinburgh‘s Bayes Centre and research Centre for Design Informatics to deliver a series of lectures, roundtables and thought-leadership material as part of the campaign. The Value of Data campaign will elevate and champion the role of data and help organisations responsibly deliver value to their customers.

Key takeaways and next steps

University of Edinburgh chair of Design Informatics Professor Chris Speed and chair of DMA Scotland (and one of the DataIQ 100 most influential data and analytics practitioners in the UK)

Firas Khnaisser led the conversation on what the data and marketing industry can do.

Professor Chris Speed gave a presentation highlighting his belief that data can change societal and business exchanges. For him, it boils down to three key principles: Data must be good and benefit others; it should be inclusive so that everyone shares the same values of its worth; and how we obtain, process and manage data must be fair.

“Attaching money to data just doesn’t work; it’s not as simple as that. So we’ve been asking ourselves a complicated question: ‘if you change the representation of value, does it change the values that you can represent?’ If you’re thinking about what the value of data is, just think about the values that matter to you. You like things that are good, fair and inclusive,” said Chris Speed.

Support for the Value of Data campaign is strong and all from across business politics and academia are committed to making Scotland not just the data capital of Europe, but a global leader in data ethics.

Summarising the discussions of the session, DMA Scotland Chair, and Head of Decisioning at Standard Life, Firas Khnaisser said:

“Together, we share a belief that data-driven innovation will empower the Scottish economy going forward, and the Scottish government has really put action behind those words.

He continued: “What is notable and crucial is that we are trying to sort these challenges to understand the worth of data not just by ourselves but in tandem with other organisations in the public and private sector. This is something we have to do together.

We collectively have the ambition of being the data capital of Europe, but we could aim even higher to become world leaders in data ethics and responsible marketing.”

The DMA will be delivering more Value of Data events over the coming months. Information about how to attend or be part of the campaign will be available from the DMA website.


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