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Data has come into its own - and you’re the one that benefits

Data is everywhere. Even if it’s not obvious, the world around us couldn’t function without it. Every time we use a laptop, tablet, credit card, oyster card, or smart meter, data about our usage gets created, used and stored. Each time we track activity on a FitBit, download from iTunes, use our mobile or post on social media, information about us is collected. And each little nugget gets added to our digital footprint. We’ve inadvertently become a nation of data geeks, without us realising.

Interestingly, our digital footprints paint a vivid picture of our lives. Indeed, that’s a large part of why this data is being captured in the first place. Businesses, like Apple for iTunes and Tesco for clubcard, use it to build pictures of their customers and send us targeted offers, messages and adverts. Our digital footprints are valuable and the information within them is highly prized.

Your data is more valuable to you than anyone

The problem is, you can’t see your own digital footprint. This feels wrong. Your data is even more valuable to you than it is to the companies that collect it. So you should be able to see the picture that your digital footprint paints. You can of course make the effort to see some of the elements; your energy usage or your last 10 credit card transactions. But there is much more value in your digital footprint than that.

This is about to change. With the right tools, you’ll be able to tap into your digital footprint whenever it’s helpful, and use the information within for your own benefit. Your footprint will become a good thing, as long as you can access it. Because if you can use multiple data sources at once, suddenly everything becomes clearer and more valuable - which is where things become chic.

Tap into your own digital footprint

This is the idea behind ctrlio. This handy little tool helps you see the bigger picture. With ctrlio, you can pull information from your digital footprint and reuse it elsewhere to save time, money and hassle.

The possibilities are endless. No more online form filling as information can be plugged in from other accounts. Greater savings on household bills as deals are matched to your exact usages. Not to mention all the social benefits, like plugging Spotify playlists into Ticket Master to instantly discover new bands. Or setting up a car share scheme by quickly matching your journeys with people who make similar trips.

Connect all your digital worlds

In time, you’ll be able to use ctrlio to connect all your digital worlds and benefit from all your data flowing around. But right now, the service is very new. We’re doing things one-step at a time. We’ve started with a tool for mobile phone contracts, which is helping people save an average of £210 a year. It’s free to use and takes less than a minute to run. Crucially, it’s all under your control; so no intrusion on privacy, no lock-in and no spam – just data freedom and savings.

ctrlio is turning data ownership around and putting control back in your hands. Give it a go and see for yourself how valuable your data can be.

Laurence John

Laurence has been developing, marketing and financing advanced products in aerospace, mobile and early stage venture environments for the past 25 years.