£42m big data investment a boost for marketing | DMA

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£42m big data investment a boost for marketing

Last week's Budget received a mixed reception in business circles, but one announcement is of particular relevance to the UK marketing industry and all data-driven businesses. Chancellor George Osborne announced £42m of funding to create a big data institute.

The Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, named after the World War II code-breaker, will develop applications that can help make sense of the vast amounts of data that businesses and individuals produce in today's digital age.

This tech-friendly surprise slipped into the Budget sends a powerful signal about the value of big data. It will help propel the UK to the forefront of technological innovation and is a major boost for all data-driven UK businesses.

Osborne told MPs: "The intention is for the work to benefit British companies to have an advantage in big data. I am determined that our country is going to out-compete, out-smart and out-do the rest of the world."

Chris Combemale, executive director of the DMA, welcomes the news: "The Government's decision to invest in big data is a major boost for our industry. A greater understanding of how to use big data will help develop a customer-centric economy, one where an individual's needs will determine exactly how and when brands communicate with them.

"Armed with the insight big data provides, brands will be better placed to offer a genuine value exchange in real time. By talking to customers about what interests them the most at a particular moment in time, they will be able to develop meaningful one-to-one relationships. Looking beyond marketing, big data also has the potential to drive wider business decisions, adapting a company's offerings based on people's experiences of its products and services."

Other areas in the Budget of particular interest to UK businesses include:

  • Annual Investment Allowance doubled to £500,000 and will run to the end of 2015. (This will particularly benefit small and medium sized firms, as will the upcoming consultation on whether it is possible to legislate to help match SMEs rejected for finance with alternative lenders)
  • Grants for smaller businesses will be extended to support over 100,000 more apprenticeships
  • From 6 April 2014 all businesses and charities will be eligible for a new £2,000 Employment Allowance to reduce their employer National Insurance Contributions liability (nb this was announced last year and comes into force this April)
  • Business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances in enterprise zones extended for three years

Corporation tax still on course to be 21% in April and 20% in 2015 – down from 28% in 2010

Read the full text of the Chancellor’s speech and the Treasury’s full Budget report

Caroline Roberts, Director of Public Affairs, DMA

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