“The people in baseball mean more to me than statistics.”
– Ernie Banks
When he took the stage At SAP Customer Experience Live in Barcelona, Adrian Nash, head of product for SAP Customer Data Cloud, unveiled a staggering statistic:
SAP Customer Data Cloud has collected and stored 1.2 BILLION consent transactions since launching its enterprise preference and consent management product in November 2017.
Yet as the great Ernie Banks points out, the impact on real people is much more meaningful than gaudy stats. So let’s dive into this massive number and show its real-world impact.
What Is a Consent Transaction?
Our SAP Customer Consent product enables businesses to collect, store and manage consent and preference transactions in a single, central data vault. That means a business gets an accurate, up-to-date repository of every instance when a customer consents to:
- Terms of service
- Privacy policies
- Marketing communications (opt-in, opt-out, channel, and frequency)
- Other permission-based activities
Additionally, a transaction is recorded any time a customer exercises his or her data access rights through a self-service preference center created in SAP Customer Consent. These transactions cover the rights to:
- Data erasure (to be forgotten)
- Restrict processing
- Data portability
- Object to data processing
- Automated decision-making and profiling protections
- Be informed
- Data Access
- Data Rectification
As you can see, one customer can account for several consent transactions over the course of his or her journey. And, contrary to popular thought, European customers do not represent an overwhelming majority of these records.
“With the likes of the GDPR, we were expecting high traction and most of the consent vault records to be stored in Europe for European organizations,” Adrian said. “But it’s actually pretty stable across the world in terms of volume.”
What Does It Really Mean?
On one hand, this massive number indicates the scope of the “consent data capture” issue. In today’s digital landscape, consent data is pervasive. If a business doesn’t define and implement a holistic strategy for capturing, tracking and managing this type of data, it will fall behind more forward-looking competitors and expose itself to potentially harmful regulatory risk.
On the other hand, it’s an indication that smart businesses around the globe are providing their customers with transparency about what data is being collected and how that data is being used. They’re also giving customers control over personal data in accordance with consumer privacy and data protection laws.
These pursuits are meeting a key demand. As Patrick Salyer, general manager for SAP Customer Data Cloud, said at his CX Live keynote: “Yes, personalization is a good thing if it’s done the right way, with transparency and control.”
When personalization aligns with data privacy, customers trust brands more and share more data with them. This creates a valuable, two-way relationship that benefits both the consumer and the business over time.
The volume of consent records also indicates businesses are implementing plans to address consumer privacy and data protection regulations, such as GDPR. Realizing the risk of storing consent records in hard-to-reach siloes, smart businesses are taking action to collect, track and manage it holistically.
What Are the Implications for the Future?
The SAP Customer Data Cloud’s “consent vault” is growing by 100 million records per month. As more companies join the movement and gather customer consent, this number will grow even more.
This granular tracking of consent records has major implications for technologies that tap into AI and machine learning.
For example, stakeholders for the recently-announced Open Data Initiative between Adobe, Microsoft and SAP can be confident the data fed into this program will not only be formatted correctly, but it will also have the appropriate level of consent associated with it.
SAP Customer Experience is committed to helping smart businesses turn data privacy into a market advantage. Capturing consent and preferences, enforcing those customer choices across the business, and giving customers control over those choices are key steps on the journey to achieve this market advantage. To find out more steps to becoming a great data privacy organization, read “How to Design and Build a Great Consumer Data Privacy Organization” by Forrester.
By Ratul Shah