By Ben Taylor, Chief Innovation Officer, EY

The explosion of data is no longer new.  The phrase ‘data is the new oil’ was coined over ten years ago, however the challenge increasingly for businesses is to understand how best to use data for commercial advantage – and how to do this without damaging public trust.

EY has commissioned research for the Huxley Summit that looks at the link between how organisations use data and perceptions of how trustworthy they are thought to be by their stakeholders – including investors, employees and the public.


Ben Taylor speaking at the Huxley Summit launch event on 09 October 2017

The research explores how trust in organisations is evolving as digitisation advances. How do businesses unleash the power of robotics, AI and other new technologies and bring the public with them on the journey? With GDPR fast approaching, we ask companies about their preparedness for this new regulation – does more regulation equal more trust? We look at the role of ethics in terms of an organisations acquisition, storage, processing and its monetisation of data. And, ask what issues they face in implementing a rigorous strategy for protecting consumer data – is company culture, compliance or the commercial case, the biggest barrier for change? 

The data boom is set to continue and new technologies pose both opportunities and threats for business.  Our survey seeks to shed light on how companies can achieve the right balance of data as an asset and data as a risk.  With the stakes so high to achieve commercial success and manage reputation and stakeholder perceptions, the question of how we handle data ethically is not just about regulation. It’s about trust, leading to the question we ask ahead of the Huxley summit; in today’s world, how much trust is enough?

The Huxley Summit is taking place on 29 November at the Royal Institution in London, which is headline sponsored by EY.

Ben Taylor will be chairing a discussion on data with Chi Onwurah MP (Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation), Richard Thomas (former UK Information Commissioner), and Azeem Azhar (strategist, product entrepreneur, analyst & curator of Exponential View)