Tag Archives: John Havens

Data Custodianship and the New Information Economy

By Marc Dresner, IIR

I’ve been thinking’and writing’a lot about privacy lately,
and it’s occurred to me that the term may actually be a misnomer when we’re
talking about the collection and use of data about individuals.
John Havens, author of
Hacking H(app)iness: Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it CanChange the World,’ summed it up quite well in a presentation at TMRE’s sister
event, The Future of Consumer Intelligence, back in May.

‘This is not about privacy; it’s about
 ‘ John Havens

‘This is not about privacy, which is a preference; it’s
about control,’ said Havens.

Havens’ voice is one in a growing chorus that contends the
Internet economy in its current incarnation’specifically that of data in exchange for services’is fundamentally broken.

Data Slaves Rise Up

Peter Vander Auwera

In July, at the Shopper Insights in Action conference, Peter Vander Auwera, Co-Founder of SWIFT’s Innotribe, who’s written and spoken
extensively on the subject, warned of an impending ‘revolution of the data slaves.’

Vander Auwera’s talk drew on a variety of thought leaders,
all of whom have called for and/or predicted the emanation of a more
egalitarian model. 
For instance:

  • -         
    Jaron Lanier, author of ‘Who Owns the Future?‘ envisions
    a new information economy where people are paid for each instance in which
    information about them is used for commercial purposes.

  • -         
    Internationally renowned security technologist Bruce Shneier even compares the Internet economy to a Feudal system, but Shneier also
    believes a technological way out is inevitable

New Model: The Respect Network

some of this may seem a little fantastical, I wouldn’t dismiss it because to
varying degrees it’s already happening.

Havens in his
presentation advised keeping
an eye on the personal cloud/personal vault industry. (Forrester covers it.)
He also referenced The Respect Network‘billed as ‘the world’s first global,
private cloud network and peer-to-peer data sharing service”as the poster child
for the emerging model:

  • People get paid directly for access to their
  • Provides a centralized, secure private repository
    for whatever data the person wants stored’social media data, photos, credit
    card data, shoe size, etc.
  • Direct peer-to-peer transmission (no
  • Pick and choose which data you want to sell
  • Decide who you want (or don’t want) to sell it
  • Visualization software lets the user look at and
    think about their own data in novel ways

Note: Great WSJ blog on this topic with details about The Respect
Network model. See http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/06/25/network-lets-you-sell-your-data-for-cloud-storage/
the form, you can expect to see more options for consumers to exercise
greater control over the collection and use of their data.
But for now, I think the distinction between privacy and
control is an important one, because the privacy movement shouldn’t necessarily
be construed as blanket opposition to the sharing of consumer data or rejection of the use of that data by

Data ethics will be the new
‘ Jer Thorp

Another speaker from the FoCI conference in May, JerThorp, made a great analogy when he predicted that data ethics will be the new

Thorp is Co-Founder of The Office for Creative Research and former
Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times Co.

He advised companies to start thinking not in terms
of data ownership, but data custodianship
and to position themselves as ‘data ethical,’ which entails:

1.       Informed consent

2.       Transparency around how
the data will be used

3.       The option for people to
have their records terminated (aka ‘the ability to be forgotten’)

If calls for
privacy protection’at least with regard to commercial activities’are really just
an expression of people’s desire to be informed and consulted, then the
solution would seem to be to involve people in the process.

Thorp said he’s had discussions
about consumer data ethics with a lot of companies, and it’s the older,
established corporations that seem most receptive to the concept because ‘they
understand that customer distrust is an untenable proposition.’  


Executives at start-ups, in
contrast, ‘aren’t listening because they have an exit strategy for two years out,’
said Thorp.


In any event, people
may not have to wait for legislators to catch up. The market may sort it out.

Companies that don’t institute ‘data ethical’
policies and practices may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage as
consumers take their business to a rival that has recognized the opportunity.

And like any
market with a large unmet need, expect a variety of new entrants to come to the
rescue with commercially available solutions designed to help people manage and
control their own data.

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Recap: The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014

Imagine a line drawn in the sand that is filled with hot burning coals. To the left of the burning line stands a group of people. And to the right of the burning line stands another group of people. The group of people on the left are all directly facing the burning line drawn in the sand and are staring at the opposing group. The group on the right are also all facing the burning line drawn in the sand, staring directly at the group on the left.
The burning line drawn in the sand represents trust. The group of people on the left believe they are entitled to the right group’s trust because they are trying to help them. The group on the right believes trust is earned and will not easily give it to the group on the left. The tug of war between the two groups over trust causes friction and creates the burning line drawn in the sand that neither can cross without the right tools.
The above scenario is analogous to what was presented at the recent 2014 Future of Consumer Intelligence conference (#FOCI14). The group to the left was Big Business, the group to the right was the Public and we as attendees were willing and able to sit right on the burning line drawn in the sand and discuss how to bridge the gap between groups.

As marketers and researchers we love to collect lots of data with the intention of using personal information to improve products, services, and lives. But at what point is it considered invasion of privacy? Do consumers really know how their data is being used, regardless of whatever they agreed to? At FOCI14 it was made evident that as marketers and researchers, we teeter on the brink of ‘Empowerment vs. Endagerment’. The path to maintaining the balance and bridging the gap on the subject of data between Big Business and the Public was made evident: provide clear, concise rules and guidelines for how consumer data is used that moves past legality and into the territory of morality.

Clearly our industry is at a point of disruptive innovation as new technologies and methodologies allow researchers to get a clearer picture of consumer insights. But who are behind all of these insights? That’s right, people. In our industry we label people as consumers, customers, shoppers, respondents, target markets and more. But remember that behind all of our studies are people. And sometimes we can act as a barricade between companies, their brands, and their consumers in an attempt to remain unbiased and objective. So how do we bridge the gap?
For starters, John Havens, Founder of The H(app)athon Project, suggests we can begin by switching out the label ‘consumer’ with ‘customer’. Whereas Elizabeth Merrick, Senior Customer Insights Manager of HSN suggests we consider research as another touch point of the brand, ‘We should allow customers to contribute to a brand, not just consume it.’
So it appears the segue between marketing science and people is essentially personal treatment and recognizing that customers are more than a data point within a spreadsheet.

The more I thought about it, FOCI14′s tagline of The Convergence of Technology, Marketing Science & Humanization of Data seemed unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) dichotomous where both Big Business and the Public were descending upon the line drawn in the sand. So it goes with technology & humanization.
There is no doubt that technology improves lives at blistering speeds. Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering for Google pointed out that, ‘Information Technology expands exponentially across time, not linearly.’ But as we become more technologically advanced, do we lose a piece of our humanity and our identity?
As we discussed more and more about the subjects of technological advances, psychological habits, triggers, and touch points at FOCI14, it seemed the key to closing the gap between technology & humanization of data relied upon engagement. If new technologies enable to us to engage with customers in a more 
meaningful way and people are able to build stronger psychological connections with each other, then the gap is bridged. If on the other hand, the research community were to stand disengaged with customers and people, then technology & humanization in the field will stand diametrically opposed on a bridge that is about to collapse.
So the real question in all of this is, ‘Has your organization bridged the line drawn in the sand’?
Editors Note: This post was written by MrChrisRuby, an award-winning expert Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive who has consulted with several Fortune 500 companies. He is passionate about morphing data into actionable marketing intelligence that augments business operations. Follow MrChrisRuby on Twitter @MrChrisRuby, email him at mrchrisruby@gmail.com or read The Market Research Insider blog.

Hacking H(app)inesss by John Havens

Editor’s Note: This post
is written by Annie Pettit, PhD, the Chief Research Officer at Peanut Labs,
a company specializing in self-serve panel sample.

Hacking H(app)iness ‘ How to Give Big Data a Direction 

John Havens, Founder, THE H(APP)ATHON PROJECT,
  • What are YOU worth? What are WE worth? Money? Home life,
  • I think therefore I am’ I sync therefore I am ‘ our identity
    is our data
  • It’s more than being on facebook. Lots of people are on
    facebook via photos and references even though they have never touched
  • Lots of things happen without seeing them ‘ sound waves,
    stress ‘ but can be quantified regardless ‘ facial recognition technology, MRIs
  • You can wear a device that measures your health or diet or
    fitness. Allows you to collect a lot of data without deciding exactly what you
    want to measure.
  • what is a data broker?  [i have no idea]
  • privacy should be considered as control, privacy is
    personal. do i have the right to see copies of data collected on me
  • the property that you collected, the data that you gathered,
    that’s ME.
  • get people to trust your use of their data and they will
    share more with you
  • people who are happier need less medication
  • hedonic happiness goes up and down as good and bad things
    happen; unomonic happiness is intrinsic well-being such as altruism which makes
    you feel like you have purpose
  • you can be choiceful about what you allow into your brain ‘
    you CAN turn off the 11 pm news, tell yourself 3 three you are happy about
  • ‘Do you want to go consume a movie’?   ‘Do you want to
    consume a barbie doll’?  This is not how people communicate with each
  • Would you wear every wearable device if someone gave you $20
    000? Only if you trust them [yeah, not happening for me!]
  • People think the word consumer is impersonal, commoditized,
    transactional, negative. Why do we keep on using this word?
  • Consumers WANT to be called guest, shopper, friend, client,
    valued, customer, person, partner, patron
  • Stop calling them consumers. the paradigm won’t change. the
    relationship won’t change.  [I've switched. I call people people now.]
  • What are you worth? Not money.

Hacking H(app)iness Reveals Quantified (Whole) Self

Consumer Devices and Apps May Unlock Door to Measuring Unconscious Emotions

Marc Dresner, IIR
John Havens is on to something
that marketers and consumer researchers should pay close attention to, because
the implications for insights work are huge.
This trend gets to the very essence of consumer intelligence and it may be the wave of the future…only it’s happening now.
John Havens
The research isn’t
being conducted by consumer researchers; this research is being conducted by
consumers, themselves, for themselves.
Havens’author of ‘Hacking H(app)iness:
Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking
it Can Change the World’ and founder of the H(app)athon Project–is on a
mission to help people objectively take
stock of their lives using data they collect about themselves, and to then adjust
their behaviors, lifestyles and priorities according to what those data tell
‘Hacking H(app)iness involves using the devices and
technologies we interact with every day to track, understand and
optimize every aspect of our lives’
‘Hacking H(app)iness involves using the devices and technologies around
us that we interact with every day to track, understand and
optimize every aspect of our lives,’ Havens said.
‘We don’t always know how we are feeling,’ Havens remarked. 
‘The data we can collect about ourselves on our smartphones, using apps and through other devices can serve as a proxy for our emotions and help us to improve our overall ‘wellbeing’ and quality of life,’ he added.
‘We don’t always know how we are feeling’Data
we can collect about ourselves on smartphones using apps can serve as a proxy
for our emotions.’
It’s based on the science of
positive psychology. After all, Havens is about hacking happiness, not misery’a thoroughly noble pursuit to be sure.
But after conducting an
interview with Havens for the Research Insighter podcast series, yours truly
has honestly been preoccupied with the potential applications and implications
for consumer researchers.
So I hope you’ll  forgive me
if I focus less attention than I should on the potential benefit to mankind and
more on the possibility that consumers may figure out a way to harness Big Data
before those of us in marketing do.
Self Improvement…Gamified?

You’re probably familiar
with the ‘Quantified Self’ movement taking the healthcare and wellness
industries by storm.
It’s generally associated
with using sensor technology in smartphones and wearable devices (think Fitbit)
to track and analyze physiological and other health-related data: heart rate,
blood pressure, exercise, etc.
Now, ‘quantified
selfies’ will tell you that monitoring one’s own blood pressure, pulse and the
like barely scratches the surface of the quantified self movement.
And they’re right.
The Quantified Self movement is in many respects the gamification of self improvement.

In many respects, the Quantified Self movement this is the
gamification of self improvement.
Some devotees’there are clubs
of them sprouting up all over (New York has a ‘chapter’)’monitor their
cognitive functioning, blood oxygen levels’even the quality of the very air in
the room they’re breathing.
And they don’t stop there.
Want to know how well you
sleep at night? You need not necessarily spend a night in a medical sleep
center; you can do it yourself at home in your own bed without a bunch of
clinicians watching you thrash around in your sheets from behind glass.
Not all of these data are
passively collected.
What you ate for lunch, for
example, and its nutritional content needs to be manually entered, but that’ll
get easier fast. (Watch for barcodes next to menu items in restaurants that can
be scanned to your smartphone to track your diet.)
Technology that was only accessible to healthcare professionals, the
military, law enforcement, etc., is now becoming commercially available to everyday consumers.
The point is that much of
this, Havens points out, is possible because technology that was until recently
only accessible to healthcare professionals, the military, law enforcement,
etc., is now becoming commercially available to everyday consumers.
For example, he noted there’s
an app available for download that accurately reads your heart rate by just pointing
your smartphone’s camera at your face.
devices don’t even have to be touching
us to collect this data,’ Havens emphasized.
This type of stuff was
formerly the domain of agents scoping out potential terrorists in airports.
And there are other equally
sophisticated, albeit less sexy data collection technologies that are also
making their way into the hands of everyday folks.
DIY online tracking? The data collection and analytics tools marketers
use are making their way into the hands of average folks.
I’m talking about the data
collection and analytics tools marketers use.
Think do-it-yourself online tracking’the
activity, time spent, sites visited, Google searches, etc.
What could this information
tell us about ourselves?
I recently attended IIR’s
Media Insights and Engagement conference’a sister event to the Future of Consumer Intelligence, which sponsors this blog’and I can tell you media
researchers are quite keen on getting at cross-platform media consumption data
(not just programming content, but social and any other “media,” too’all of it).
Meanwhile, Havens in his
book proposes that you and I’wearing our Joe Consumer hats’might benefit from looking
at how much time we spend playing Candy Crush, streaming YouTube videos,
Facebooking, listening to MP3s, bidding on eBay auctions, etc.
Now where am I going to get
that data?
My smartphone,
my tablet, my desktop computer…Eureka!
So what would I do with this information?
hacking is like looking at a monthly credit card statement…You can see what you truly value based on where you spent your money.
Havens compares it to
looking at one’s monthly credit card statement (something else I happen to have
access to, coincidentally).
a credit card statement, you can see what you truly value because there is a list of
what you put your money toward in the past month,’ he told the Research
you know you really like music if you see that you’ve downloaded a ton of it.
maybe it’s a lot of pornography that you’ve been downloading?
where the positive change comes into play.
you ask someone what really matters to them in life, they’ll tell you things
like family time,’ said Havens.
what if you had objective data about how you live your life? If you could track
the things that you claim’that you believe’are important to you’? he asked.
If you could track the things that you believe are important to you, on paper the actual data might suggest otherwise.
might find that actually, according to the data, we don’t really value those
things’at least that’s how it looks on paper. And we can make a change,’ Havens said.
I’m not going to suggest
that this stuff is going to make online surveys look primitive, like leaching’but
you must admit Havens has a point.
Self-reported behavior isn’t
bullet proof. 
And self-reported feelings? 

So much attention and investment is
being devoted to unlocking the unconscious emotional motivations that drive consumer
behavior in the research community for good reason.

‘My hope is that these tools
will allow people the opportunity to improve their wellbeing by making
decisions based on real data, knowing things about themselves that they might not otherwise be
aware of,’ said Havens.
Now tell me the research
community shouldn’t pay attention to this.

And click these links to check
out John Havens’ book, ‘Hacking H(app)iness,’ and to learn more about the
H(app)athon Project.
Editor’s note: John Havens will deliver a keynote titled, ‘Hacking
Happiness: How to Give Big Data a Direction’ at the Future of Consumer Intelligence conference taking place May
19-21 in San Francisco.

As a reader of this blog you will SAVE 15% on
your registration to attend the Future of Consumer Intelligence when you use
code FOCI14BLOG.  Register here today!

For more information, please visit www.futureofconsumerintel.com

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Ben Smithee Invites You to The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014

Ben Smithee, CEO of Spych Market Analytics and Chairman of
The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 thinks you should attend FOCI 2014 in
LA this May. Why is Ben so excited about this year’s event?
Well, right now we are on the cusp of the second wave of the
big data revolution. 2013 was about understanding Big Data, from collection to
analysis.  2014 is about translating big
data into new opportunities and taking action on the insights to drive business
The Future of Consumer
Intelligence 2014
will help you discover how data is transforming the consumer’s
wellbeing, experience and impacting the productivity of an organization. This
unique event accelerates disruptive thinking around decision science – translating
the new understanding into future opportunities means that the role of a
researcher is changing. This event’s unique aggregation across insights, data
science, marketing science, social science with technology as a common thread
provokes new questions and explores new futures. 
At FOCI, you’ll understand the processes and tools being
used to aggregate disparate strands of data so you can create a richer
experience that drives loyalty and growth. This year, the event not only
focuses on the insights, intelligence and analytics piece of the market
research industry, but also the strategies you need to put those into action in
order to grow your brand and your business.
Additionally, there are two brand new intensives this year,
including The Future of Researchers and The Future of Consumers. The Future of
Researchers focuses on the skills, tools, techniques, and methodologies you
need to be the best at your job and lead the industry in the future. The Future
of Consumers is taking an in depth look at what makes consumers buy, click, and
tap, and how are they engaging with new media in the future so that brands can
have a deeper relationship with them.
This year’s FOCI is also brining you an impressive lineup of
keynote speakers including John Havens, author of Hacking H(app)iness and Ray Kurzweil,
director of engineering at Google.
Check out Ben’s video
invitation here:

Join Ben and the rest
of the FOCI team in LA this May! Lean more about the event here: http://bit.ly/1dUiypI

Mention code FOCI14BLOG & Save 15% off the standard
rate. Register today:

FOCI Speaker Spotlight: John Havens

We recently sat down with Future
of Consumer Intelligence 2014
keynote speaker John Havens, who is also founder
of The H(app)athon Project, Author of “HACKING H(APP)INESS- Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking
it Can Change the World.” Havens discussed with us the importance of the humanization of data, the
impact of technology on market research, 
the new buzzword ‘data science,’ among much more.
Havens has recognized and experienced, first hand, the
evolutionary changes happening in the market industry as of late. We are
fortunate to have him share this critical insight with our FOCI community. This year, FOCI explores the emerging role of decision
science and the convergence of knowledge points – insights, foresights, social
science, marketing science and intelligence with technology as a central driving
force and profound connector.
We are barraged by information – and within this sea of data
we must remember to think of the problem we are trying to solve and how we can
we use this convergence of information to better understand people.  Translating the new “understanding”
into future opportunities means that the role of a researcher is changing. FOCI
accelerates disruptive innovators in the research space and pushes people to
take risks, to think outside of traditional research methods and insights
gathering and explore new and alternative tools and technologies. FOCI will
bridge the gap between what people say they are going to do and what they
actually do.
Here is what Havens had to say:
IIR: A big theme
of this year’s conference is ‘humanization of data.’ Why do you think
understanding PEOPLE (not consumers) presents an opportunity for strategic
Havens: Defining
someone as a “consumer” already defines them by a behavior
(consuming) versus measuring them in the larger context of wellbeing or other
metrics.  People do a lot in their lives outside of purchasing/consuming
so taking these things into account (health, happiness, career) provides a lot
of opportunity for strategic action.
IIR: How is
technology not only changing how we do things, but also how we understand the
world, business, and people?
Havens: Technology
can be a lens to see people in a new light.  Literally, this can happen
with something like Google Glass or similar augmented reality
technologies.  While there are huge opportunities for positive change with
these technologies and how they’ll help improve our lives, it’s also critically
important at this juncture in time to analyze the ethical implications of these
types of tools today.  The lenses or filters we choose to view the world
through can narrow our vision as much as expand it.  
IIR: How has
consumer intelligence strategy and action planning helped drive your business?
Havens: In my
current work, I’m focused on measuring individual and collective
wellbeing.  We’re not focusing specifically on consumers.  However,
gaining analytical insights based on subjective wellbeing (how people rate
their wellbeing/happiness) and other similar data drives the foundation of what
we do.
IIR: How has the
role of ‘the researcher’ changed?

Havens: In
regards to analytics, research can now be done with large data sets of existing
information versus creating customized surveys and individual research. 
So in many ways, in those types of situations, “researchers” are
becoming “analysts.”
IIR: Describe a
situation where you’ve taken a risk or thought outside the box of tradition
market research methods. How did that benefit your business?
Havens: We’re
still young in our work/research, but our use of passive sensors in mobile
phones is what we hope will distinguish our work in the wellbeing arena. This
type of work has not been done that much yet to the best of our knowledge.
IIR: Where do you
see the emerging space of marketing science and role of data scientists in the
next five years?
Havens: I think
IT and marketing departments will essentially become as one pretty soon. 
And they should.  There’s currently a huge disconnect between CMO’s and
CIO’s and how those two departments can effectively communicate and work
IIR: How has the
increasingly connected consumer affected market research?
Havens: How have
they not?  There’s more data than ever before contributed not just
directly by consumers.
Want to hear more
from John in person? Join him at Future of Consumer
Intelligence 2014
in Los Angeles, CA in May. To learn more about the event
and register, click here:
John Havens 

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.