Accenture Exec Discusses The Right Way To Use Data

Data is said to be the new oil, but it's not without its challenges.

CRNtv recently discussed the issue with Accenture's Kathleen O'Reilly, who offered advice on how companies can protect their customers' data while also boosting their bottom lines.

’There are some obvious challenges just around the magnitude and the amount of information that is out there and how fast that is growing,’ she said. ’So, there’s a scale point of how do you tackle it -- how do you figure out where the right information is.’

O’Reilly said Accenture regularly works with clients in navigating that challenge. She said companies must always ask themselves what the benefit is to the customer and said investing in the proper security channels is critical.

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’I would say it just comes down to the use of data and making sure that you understand your customers and are you using data in a way that benefits the customer, benefits your business and helps, with good intent, to grow the market," she said.

O’Reilly’s comments come as the issue of data privacy protection takes center stage across the country. This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill about the social media site's handling of users' data after revelations that the political consutling firm Cabridge Analytica used millions of users' data without their consent.

But, despite the negative headlines, data continues to provide significant benefits for companies when incorporated in a smart way.

’Data allows our clients and Accenture to know the end customer much better. The more you can personalize and understand what the client wants and when they want it, the better service you can provide,’ added O’Reilly.