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Xero launches first of kind advisory council to help educate small businesses on responsible data use

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Tue 20 Jul 2021

Xero has announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind Xero Responsible Data Use Advisory Council, dedicated to educating and empowering small business owners on responsible data use. 

The council is made up of experts and thought leaders across the globe and was founded to underscore Xero’s commitment to using data responsibly. The inaugural group of council members will also focus on filling a vital education gap within the small business community around data sharing and responsible data use. Xero will look to add additional council members as needed in the future. 

A recent survey commissioned by Xero and made up of global small business owners highlighted the need to understand better how to use data responsibly. The survey found less than one-quarter (17%) say they have a good understanding of how tech providers use their business’s data. In addition, more than one-third admit their customers likely do not fully understand how their business is collecting and using their customer data.

When asked to identify the benefits of sharing data with tech providers, the most common answer (36%) was none. The most brought up concerns about sharing data were: data sold/shared without permission, data used in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, and data stolen or data used to sell more services/products. 

“The Council will play an instrumental role in helping small business owners understand the challenges and opportunities that come with sharing, managing and using data,” says executive general manager and chair of Xero Responsible Data Use Advisory Council, Kendra Vant.

“I’m excited to see this group of industry leaders help small business owners formulate deeper understanding and best practices for their businesses and empower them with confidence in managing data use responsibly with their customers.”

Xero chief customer officer, Rachael Powell, says it’s important not to underestimate the roles that data and digital technologies continue to play in helping small businesses survive during the pandemic. 

“As we reach a new era of digital connection, it’s essential that companies channel their passion for innovation into setting responsible practices for how data is utilised,” says Powell. 

“At Xero, we’re committed to building products that leverage data responsibly and also drive valuable insights for our customers, enabling them to run their business more effectively. We also want to empower our customers to understand how their tech partners use their data easily.”

Over the next 12 months, the Council will facilitate an education program featuring original content, resources and best practices featured on Xero’s website.

The founding Council members include:

  • Kendra Vant, Executive General Manager, Data at Xero, and Council Chair
  • Samuel Burmeister, Owner, Tall Books (Australia) 
  • Laura Jackson, Co-Founder, Popcorn Shed (United Kingdom)
  • Maribel Lopez, Founder & Principal Analyst, Lopez Research (US) 
  • Wyndi Tagi, Co-Owner and Co-Founder, WE Accounting (New Zealand) 
  • Eli Tagi, Co-Owner and Growth Advisor, WE Accounting (New Zealand)
  • Aaron Wittman, Founder, XBert (Australia)
     
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