Imagine if the data you shared was written in pencil! – Val Bercovici – Ep54

One of my favourite phrases is that “those who make the most of their data, will be the success stories of the future” and I think that is echoed by our obsession with data as a new all-powerful resource for us to mine and exploit.

But, it’s not quite that straightforward is it? There is no getting away from the importance of security and privacy when it comes to our data. Be that keeping it from unwarranted access, data leakage or maintaining compliance with ever increasing regulatory requirements, maintaining our data in a secure environment is a primary concern.

Within that battle between wanting to exploit our data while maintaining control lies a huge problem, how do you share your data, so you can extract value, while maintaining control, security and privacy over this crucial asset?

That is the focus of this weeks show, as I’m joined by Val Bercovici, a well-respected technology leader, who is today working on a new project with his start-up company Pencildata, a company who’s mission it is to try to address this very challenge and provide a solution that allows us to both get value from our data, while maintaining control, regardless of where it is, who is accessing it and however many services it gets passed on to.

In a fascinating chat with Val, we explore the growing tension between getting value from data while maintaining its security. We examine some of the interesting problems that come with A.I. systems, how do you address the “cold start” problem? or ensure that your A.I. systems have a wider range of data, beyond academic and publicly available data sets to learn from?

We discuss why organisations find it hard to unlock the value of their data and effectively share it, not only with 3rd party providers but even with others inside their organisations.

We wrap up by looking at how to change this, how do we give an organisation the ability to maintain control of their data regardless of where it is shared and crucially the ability to change their minds, so when they no longer want to share that data they can withdraw authorisation, regardless of where that data resides. We also look at the importance of an immutable audit trail so that you always know who, where and how your data is used.

I hope you enjoyed the episode of what is a very interesting topic, as I do believe the ability to maintain this level of control of data as it moves between departments, or is shared with external services is going to be crucial as we look to fully exploit the value and insight that is held within our data sets.

If you want to know more about the work Val and the team at Pencildata you can find them at

You can follow them on twitter @Pencil_DATA or email Val

You can also follow Val on twitter @valb00

Thanks for listening.

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