'One thing that's changing? An increasing consumer consciousness around the value of their data': Miles Thomas talks evolving attitudes ahead of our Sydney Trend Event

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Our Consumer Trend Event series kicks off in less than a fortnight and excitement is building at TW HQ. In some down time in between fine-tuning the details for each session, we managed to pin down Miles Thomas - Head of Digital at Recomazing and guest on our panel The Data Divide at the upcoming Sydney showcase on November 3rd. We discussed achieving focus, newfound consumer awareness around data and what trends are shaping his day-to-day work. 

Miles Thomas

Can you tell us a bit about your day-to-day working life? What do you enjoy the most, and what do you find the most challenging?

Recomazing is a platform to discover, share and discuss the products and services that help businesses grow. We call these recommendations “recos”.  

We’re working with some of the world's most innovative co-working spaces and business communities to capture their recos, connect their members and help others tap into this knowledge to grow their business. 

We’re a young company, so my role is really varied - and that’s what I love. From debating the priority of our feature roadmap, to conducting user interviews or reviewing key growth metrics. I love the mixture of getting real user insights through conversations and understanding how people want to use our product, combined with the detail of the actual platform data. 

What’s most challenging? Focus! There are so many aspects to my role and potential distractions that I’ve really been focusing on measuring my productivity.  I’ve been trying the Pomodoro technique recently and it’s been working a charm. It’s all about removing distractions, working in short, productive bursts and taking breaks! 

Without giving too much away, what topics, issues, trends or challenges are you excited to share with our audience at the Sydney Consumer Trend Event? 

Working for a recommendation website, I’m really interested in consumer trends around data-awareness. 

I believe we’re seeing a shift to the data-aware consumer who is far more aware of the value of their interactions. So brands and organisations need to deliver stronger data-propositions, or they will risk losing out. 

You feature on our ’The Data Divide' panel. Can you share a favourite innovation or initiative that you feel articulates the direction this issue is heading? 

The GoodData.org are really interesting. They enable users to browse the web privately and monetise the data they collect for specific charitable causes. 

They’re a clear representation of the increasing consumer consciousness around the value of their data. Tim Cook lambasted the models of the big players like Google and Facebook last year. He feels that they were being obtuse in the way that they offer services for free, but covertly capture data. 

I believe consumers will be far more savvy in the future and brands need to face-up to this today. We need to be clear about the data-propositions that we offer consumers, and allow them to make the choice. 

What trends do you feel that your organisation are pursuing in your work? 

"Collaborative Data" is a key theme of what we do. 

We empower our users to share the services and suppliers they use to grow their business and in return get recommendations about other tools they should be considering. It's about sharing data for the good of the community and helping businesses (particularly startups) grow faster, together. 

"One-to-one recommendations" is also a key trend. We feel that matching users to other users like them is a much more human way of delivering data insights. People are naturally interested in other people, so if we can tap into that voyeurism and also use data to match people in really smart ways, we're onto a winner! 

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TrendWatching's 2016 Consumer Trend Events head to Singapore (27 Oct), Sydney (3 Nov),Chicago(10 Nov), London (16 Nov) and Amsterdam (23 Nov). Ready to unlock and experience the trends set to shape 2017 (and beyond)? Find out morehere.

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