The data generation

Published September 2021


Our Head of Product, Chris Noakes explores the data generation from headline-grabbing news to shifting attitudes.


Data is a powerful thing

Data can tell companies a lot about an individual, helping them deliver more appropriate products and services. So, why are we so wary about giving our data away? It’s ours. It’s personal. We desire to keep hold of it. Yet, over time, we have been encouraged into giving some of it up for personal gains, such as appropriate advertising or improved services.

Welcome to the ‘pull’ and ‘push’ theories of motivation. Every action we perform is driven by a pull or a desire to obtain a certain result or conversely a push, a need to avoid unwanted results. Britannica states, ‘Most motivational situations are…a combination of push and pull conditions.’ This is certainly true of data. When there is an incentive to share our data, we are driven by an internal force that compels us to share our data to access better products or services. We experience a push with concerns like security or privacy. The incentives to share our data must outweigh any concerns we may have.


Is our wariness of sharing data wavering?

Yes, our wariness is slowly wavering as our perception changes over time. In the motivation spectrum, the pull of sharing data clearly outweighs the push for younger audiences. Generation Z (1997-2012) is firmly planted in the digital age, driving our need to better understand data. According to Statista, previous generations have been reluctant to share their information (due to data privacy concerns). However, these attitudes are clearly changing over time. Each new generation learns how they can make this data work in their favour.

There is a lot of talk about the next ten years in terms of technology, but what about Generation Alpha? Those born in 2011 will be turning 16 in five years’ time, having been born into digital. If this generation inherits similar attitudes and behaviours to their parents, the expectation of products, services and technology will be unimaginable. ‘On-demand’ will be ingrained into them, and robots or automation will be seen as the norm. They will also be comfortable sharing their data if they can see a benefit to doing so, asking, ‘Here is my data, why are you not using it?’


Prepare yourself for Generation Alpha

When creating or reviewing technology and product roadmaps, companies must build in the customer profile. With each generation comes change and businesses need to be ready for that, accurately forecasting the needs and expectations. For instance, Generation Alpha will expect bank operations to be faster and more flexible. When looking for insurance at 17, they will share their data to help them access the most affordable products and services.

The access to granular and different datasets is here already and is set to increase. Therefore, we can expect to see greater competition, new players and household names becoming memories for the next generation


Open finance in 2022

If you aren’t aware of open banking, you should be. Open banking is going to play a key role in shaping future products and its usage is growing all the time, with many industries already utilising its benefits. And in 2022 the next chapter in open banking, open finance is due to set out its framework, which will include:

  • Access to a wider range of financial products and services
  • Customers will have greater control over their data and insights into finances
  • Empower better financial decisions


It’s not just about personal data…

For a long time, we have seen the public interested in what companies are doing socially as well as environmentally. In the last few years, we have seen more focus on those companies along with extreme measures to highlight what some see as double standards. Just recently, Lloyds was the target of green paint being thrown at their London office.

Customers will demand greater transparency in relation to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), which will form part of their product choice. We can expect even greater demand from Generation Alpha. They will be asking companies some very challenging questions with company data also playing a vital role in customer choice. Generation Alpha will change the playing field. It’s how companies act now that will put them in a good position for the future.


If this has raised a few questions or you would like to explore open banking, then please do get in touch. We have the knowledge, product, team and experience to get open banking working for you.