Alex Salkever
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A Startup’s Guide to Using Data The Right Way

This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Alex Salkever is a writer, futurist and technology leader. He is the co-author with Vivek Wadhwa of “The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Can Change the Future”.  Alex has served as a senior executive at a host of Silicon Valley startups in green technology, data science, open government, and cloud computing. He has been a senior leader at respected brands in technology, most recently at Mozilla where he served as a vice president. He was present at Startup Turkey Demo day, where he talked about data and trust.

In running a startup, data and trust go hand in hand, in that your data is the pool of users
you own and trust is the key reason why your users still stick around, both data and trust are
two largely underrated concepts in the startup world so they both get to be used wrongly.
Most startups define their primary goal to be acquiring users and sell more, while these are
two very good goals, we tend to forget that no startup can succeed or exist without trust,
trust is essential to building a business, as a startup, your users have to trust you to use your
service.

Today, startups and tech companies have taken trust for granted for a while. The
most recent showing of this is the Facebook data leak, losing trust is expensive too,
Facebook lost about $80 billion in the span of one month, the aftermath of the data loss led
to twitter campaigns moving to end Facebook with the hashtag #EndFacebook trending
internationally multiple times, multiple Facebook users started deleting accounts as they had
lost their trust in Facebook, this shows just how important trust and data can be.

Data, like oxygen, can help your startup grow, and also cause it to burn, below are some questions you need to start asking as a startup to help you deal with your data the right way:

1. How do you request data from customers/users?
Checking how you request data from your users is key to switching things up a bit, you might want to respect users consent each time you strategize a means of extracting data, so your users don’t feel like you’re robbing them off their privacy or knowing just too much. Giving users the ability to opt in and out of data options is key.

2. Who is the data from?
Keeping records of who in particular your data is coming from can be very pivotal.

3. How much data do you collect?

4. What kind of data do you collect?
Keeping data in segments helps you give the right correspondence for the right purposes, its not just about having a whole lot of data, its about knowing what data is meant for what purpose

5. How long do you keep data?
Data is subject to change, you’ll need to devise a method to keep your old data true at all times, this means having to do away with data which has lost its integrity.

6. How secure is the data?
Keeping your data safe is just as important as anything else when running a startup, making sure to use systems that well secure and failproof would go along way, making extra checks on where you keep your data is important too.

7. Where/How do you store data?

8. How to disclose problems/ data theft?
All the questions above are often difficult to find answers to most times, but addressing would save your startup a lot, and help build the trust you need to grow as a business.

─ March 22, 2019

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