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Understanding Types of Data That Businesses Collect and Use

Data is critical to success in any industry, regarded as the lifeblood of any business. The ability to collect, store, and analyse data gives businesses the ability to make better decisions, improve operations, and find new opportunities.

However, data protection law is constantly evolving, and businesses must keep up to date with the latest developments. The legalities of data collection and use are often misunderstood, and this can lead to problems for businesses. It is paramount to understand the legalities of data collection and use and to get advice from a barrister, if necessary, in order to avoid any legal problems.

How Businesses Collect Data

There are two main ways that businesses collect data. The first is through client or customer interactions, where a client may provide their name, address, and contact details when interested in a service. In addition to client interactions, businesses may also collect data from other sources, such as public records, social media, and third-party data providers.

There are also cookies and other tracking technologies, such as web beacons, pixel tags, and clear GIFs. These technologies are used to track a user’s behaviour on a website, and businesses can use this information.

How Businesses Utilise Data

In the modern business world, data is everything. Organisations use data to make informed decisions about everything from product development and marketing to sales and customer service. Data can be used to improve just about every aspect of a business, and savvy companies are always looking for new ways to collect and utilise data.

If you aren’t convinced, try to look at the impact of data on customer service. Customer service can be more effective if businesses have a better understanding of their target market. Data can be utilised to segment clients and target them with specific messages.

What Data Businesses Collect

Businesses collect and use different types of data, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s quite important to understand the different types of data so that you can choose the right data for your business needs.

Here are some examples:

  • Personal Data. Personal data is information that can be used to identify an individual. This includes data such as name, address, email address, and phone number. Personal data can be very useful for businesses, as it can be used to target marketing and sales efforts. However, it is important to protect personal data, as it can be used for identity theft and other malicious purposes.
  • Engagement Data. Engagement data is information about how customers interact with a business. This can include data such as website visits, page views, time spent on a page, and clicks. Engagement data can be very useful for understanding how customers use a business’s products or services. However, it is important to ensure that engagement data is collected and used in a way that is respectful of customer privacy.
  • Attitudinal Data. Attitudinal data entails information about how customers feel about a business, its products or its services. This includes data such as customer satisfaction ratings and social media sentiment. Attitudinal data can be very useful for understanding how customers feel about a business. However, like engagement data, it is important to ensure that this data is handled respectfully in consideration of the customer.


Data is critical to business success as it helps businesses track progress, identify opportunities and optimise performance. A barrister can advise on the legalities of data collection and use and can help to ensure that a business is compliant with the relevant laws.

In need of data protection compliance? Briefed and our team of barristers help businesses manage legal compliance successfully. Get in touch with us today!

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