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Luminati Networks 2021 Predictions: The future of online data collection is open and transparent

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

The future of online data collection is open and transparent

By Ron Kol, CTO at Luminati Networks

To be successful in today's fiercely competitive market, you need a competitive edge. The basis for this is knowing how to navigate your industry - whether it's tech, e-commerce, finance, security, etc. - and recognizing when it's the right moment to make critical, split-second decisions for your business. This is where data comes in.

Over the past five years, the world has realized that data is the key, driving force behind multiple industries. In fact, data has often been the only element that has led to impactful change and winning strategies. Given today's rapidly growing online community and its reliance on all things digital, it is only natural that more and more businesses are discovering the benefit of online data collection, especially as it has become increasingly available. In turn, online data has dramatically changed how we do business. Future emerging market trends that were once hidden from the watchful business eye can now be predicted even before they occur - with the help of online data.

Simply put, data is everywhere and generated by everyone. As a direct effect of the need for social distancing during Covid-19 pandemic, today's online population has grown by over 30%. This staggering growth rate, which was not expected until years from now, has quickly translated into more and more businesses leaving their physical storefronts behind for online businesses. As such, here's what I predict for the coming year.

Growing online fraud will continue to drive companies to protect their online assets

Today, access to the information on the World Wide Web is limited. This is directly tied to companies that feel forced to protect their online assets due to existing - and growing - threats to their online security. Yes, online fraud has always been around. Yet, unfortunately, we have realized its growing prevalence during the pandemic and US election season. Fraudsters and abusers have taken advantage of the vast number of digital channels recently created and have committed illegal online activities, including fake reviews and ratings, illegal purchases, DDoS attacks, etc. As such, businesses are forced to continuously protect themselves online to prevent falling victim to such illegal behavior. Such protection has unfortunately included limiting open and free access to online data; companies today tend to block access when they suspect "unwanted" activities, even when it means accessing openly available data to benefit a free competitive market.

Data collection efforts will be accelerated

Data privacy and copyright restrictions will and should continue to take center stage. However, the collection of publicly available online data will be pivotal in promoting competition. Therefore, I expect businesses will continue to accelerate their data collection efforts. After all, data can help improve service quality and accurately address consumer sentiments by ensuring the availability of the right kind of products and/or offerings.

In a perfect world, companies would not fight to block public data collection attempts. On the contrary, they would make doing so easier, just as businesses today help Google and Bing crawl and catalogue their websites for their own benefit. Moving forward, I think we must all find the balance between preserving our competitive edge and allowing free access to public data. This is essential to maintaining an openly competitive market that benefits both businesses and consumers.

Perhaps in the near future we will witness an emerging data market that provides quality, verified and fresh public data on demand - much like Google provides web search results. It would be beneficial to offer such a method to look at the public internet as a live, continuously updated, extensive data set that can be searched, much like with web pages' search engines. Such a central public data hub can also help in reducing "fake traffic" load on all sites. Everyone who needs public data from a particular site will simply go to the data hub instead of creating their own parallel process. In turn, this will allow sites to collect more accurate user behavior statistics that are unhindered by data collectors. Eventually this will surely result in a greatly improved service quality - the prime goal of all businesses. 

Looking Forward - 2021 predictions

So, in 2021, I predict that we will see online data collection becoming a huge commodity, even more so than today. In fact, I think the numbers will surprise us. Data collection platforms that are easy to use and open to all will continue to emerge, like Luminati's Data Collector. Providing a collection platform that does not require engineers to write code or define and maintain it will transform data collection into a process that is easy, quick and reliable - for everyone. 

We at Luminati Networks are very much focused on this goal and are currently working to achieve it. In 2021- 2022, we will see much more evolved data markets. How exactly this will all unfold, and how businesses will respond to it, is unclear but will be very interesting to follow and find out. Watch this space for exciting things to come.


About the Author

Ron Kol 

Ron Kol is a proven expert in developing and implementing data collection technology and Luminati Networks' CTO. As a result of his years of experience developing data driven products, Ron has industry leading expertise in multiple market verticals, and has built technology to meet all their unique challenges, business goals, and growth targets. Luminati serves more than 10,000 businesses globally, including Fortune 500 firms, major retail players as well as finance organizations, security companies, prominent travel sites, and more.

After working on developing Luminati's first product in 2014 during his tenure at Hola VPN, Ron re-joined Luminati as CTO in 2019. Ron previously cut his teeth in the world of start-ups and then went on to join Jungo (now known as Cisco Videoscape), progressing through engineering roles to become R&D manager. He would then spend 11 years as a VP R&D of Hola VPN . Ron's belief in a free and transparent internet has been key influence on his career in the data collection domain, where real-time data is integral to driving results and decision making in a modern business environment.

Published Tuesday, October 20, 2020 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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