Important Data Considerations in Technology Partnerships
Evan Labb is Head of Partnerships at Savings.com (savings.com). He shares important data considerations in technology partners. This information will help small business owners in finding a technology partner.
- Data: things users provide & things users do
- Compliance: does your company adhere to all laws regarding data
- Usage: determine who has the right to the data & how it is used
- Ownership: decide who maintains the rights to data during term & after
Data is one of the most important things, one of the most important assets that the technology company can have and it drives a lot of long term value.
And when we're talking about data, we're kind of talking generally about two things. The first is, what are users providing, e-mail addresses, zip codes, their preferences, and then what are users doing that you're tracking. Things like their web browsing history or their purchase history.
All of that stuff can actually build value for your company. But you need to be really careful when you're doing a deal to make sure you understand how it's going to get used, how it's going to get stored all of those other components.
I think the three main things that I always look at when I'm talking about data with technology partners, first and foremost is compliance. How are we compliant with all the laws and regulations around data? You need to really figure out what are you doing to notify users about what data is being collected, how it's going to be used, where it's going to be stored. You need to make sure that you are compliant with privacy policies, personal information acts, laws and regulations that govern use of e-mail addresses, bank accounts. All of that stuff is really important in the technology contract to make sure you have a clear understanding of how it's getting done and how it's being protected.
Next thing I always look at after we got the data, the compliance issue is sorted out, is the usage and the partnership. Who is going to use that data and how, who has the rights to use it, who has the rights to collect it and how are they going to use it? Are they going to be able to e-mail my users? Am I going to be able to store all their web browsing history and use it to predict and recommend new products to them. All of those components deliver value and you needed to make sure that you've clarified them in the contract.
The next thing, and it's related to that really, is ownership, only who uses it but who owns the data, both during the contract and after the termination because that can deliver a long term value for you if you have a set of data, a set of assets that you can continue to use in your company. You need to make sure that between the two partners, it's very clear how it's going to lay out.
So I think when you think about data, you need to think that first and foremost, it is a source of value for your company. You need to have a real clear understanding of all of the issues around compliance usage and ownership, to understand not only how you're going to deliver value now, but in the future for your company and for your partner.