Demographics & Big Data

As privacy erodes, potential threats to your reputation multiply.

As privacy erodes, potential
threats to your reputation multiply.

Demographics will define the future. Big Data is the future.

The first concept is undisputed. The second depends on who you talk to.

The biggest demographic is the one most talked about — the gray generation, Boomers born after World War II and now on the cusp of retirement. They built the economies of today’s nations. Now they are stepping aside and need to ask for more back from their societies, in pensions, medical care and new lifestyles to accommodate physical limits and finite finances.

The question is whether societies are willing — or able — to make good on their promises.

Younger generations are affected, too. Upward mobility was limited as Boomers stayed healthier longer and were slower to move aside and make room. Job opportunities evaporated during the Great Recession. This begot pessimism, futility and dulled ambition. It became common to settle for shrunken horizons.

Economic engines sputtered. Even the conservative British magazine The Economist, a cheerleader for the West, took note with a cover story: America’s Lost Oomph. The gist was that the U.S. and Western Europe are in the doldrums, while Asia and other developing nations are surging.

Change happens. Like it or not, you must adapt. Failure to do so puts you out of step with reality.

Consider Big Data — collecting massive amounts of data and trying to make sense of it.

Not long ago, it was touted as the latest game-changer — “the new oil” and “a new asset class.” It would provide the same economic stimulus as computers did with increased productivity.

Has it?

Boosters still say it will, but their foundations are wobblier. The boom hasn’t happened. Some economists now suggest that rather than opening new economic windows, it merely cannibalizes existing businesses.

All that is certain about Big Data is its impact on privacy. The more that’s known about you, the more that’s likely to leak out. Information that once seemed buried forever can now be unearthed with a few keystrokes. As privacy erodes, potential threats to your reputation multiply.

Your challenge: Be vigilant. Analyze the impact. Fight back when you can win.


“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”

Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Preparation & Training. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-396-8696.

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