The Data We Obtain
We obtain data compliantly from a variety of sources to develop positive consumer outcomes for consumers and citizens. Our sources include data partners we trust and many of whom we have worked with for many years, government sources, publicly available data and market research data.
To provide the marketing services our clients use to communicate with you more effectively and to provide you with products and services that are relevant, we obtain and derive several types of data:
While much of the data we obtain does not relate to individuals but rather to households, properties or geographic areas, the data we receive and process may include your personal data.
Personal Data means any piece of information that can be used to identify you.
In a world where our lives are increasingly lived ‘online’, we are all creating personal data in the form of identifiers - when you’re exercising, listening to music online, messaging friends or doing anything that involves a smartphone or connected device. Your fridge, car or washing machine can now be hooked up to the internet - all of these will be generating personal data.
Examples of personal data that we obtain include:
- Contact data – name, postal address, email address, telephone number and date of birth
- Life events - individuals who have recently moved home or had a baby
- Insurance renewal – individuals’ home and motor insurance renewal dates
- Device information - we may also obtain information about the electronic devices you have used when using web and app services including the make, model, operating system, IP address, browser type and mobile device identifiers. While on its own, device level data cannot identify you as an individual, in certain circumstances this type of data, when linked to other data about you, can be regarded as personal data.
We do not collect personal data directly from you to facilitate marketing communications.
The personal data we hold is sourced from trusted data partners who have direct contact with you already, and where appropriate notice has been given for them to pass your information to Experian for use in our products and services – these partners include lifestyle surveys, publishers, competition and money saving / offer websites. We also use publicly available information from sources such as the Edited Electoral Roll (the ‘Open Register’) which allows the names and addresses present on it to be used for marketing purposes.
Additionally, we source names and addresses from Experian’s credit reference business. For avoidance of doubt, credit data is never used to identify new prospects for marketing.
We use names and addresses from our credit database for two purposes:
- to validate existing marketing names and addresses and to ensure that, as far as possible, marketing contact names and addresses belong to an individual aged 18+
- for matching and linking our modelled data to a client’s existing customer base where we only provide this data in a non-readable encrypted format that can only be used for data matching.
The Credit Reference Agency Information Notice (CRAIN) is a processing notice which Experian has developed with the other UK credit reference agencies, with input from the Information Commissioner’s Office and several financial services trade associations. CRAIN (in conjunction with the Information Pages provided on this website) helps to explain these purposes.
Special Category Data
We do not knowingly obtain or process any sensitive personal data. By sensitive personal data we mean data relating to: racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious or philosophical beliefs; trade union membership; data concerning health or sex life and sexual orientation; genetic data; and biometric data where processed to uniquely identify a person.
Data About Children
We do not knowingly obtain or process data relating to children. While we insist that the personal data we receive from our data partners should only relate to individuals aged 18+, we take steps through our internal verification processes to check that any personal data we handle relates only to UK adults aged 18+.
Aggregated or Anonymised Data
This is data that can’t identify you, either because it’s only available for households, properties or geographic areas or because it is individual level data where any personal data that can identify you has been removed. This means it has been anonymised.
Lots of organisations use statistical techniques (‘analytics’) to identify patterns in behaviour across their customer base. If, for example, a retailer uses data which contains a customer’s name and address along with transaction history to create insight into trends and behaviours across the whole customer base, it is not necessary to know who the individual is, so the name and address can be removed leaving anonymised data to be used in the analytics process.
Examples of aggregated or anonymised data that we obtain include:
- Property Information - property type, property value and tenure
- Geographic information - general demographic information (for example age, household composition, marital status) for small areas of geography, such as the areas for which the UK Census results are released which on average contain 150 households or aggregated crime statistics from Police.UK at postcode level (which contain on average 15 households)
- Survey data - anonymised information about consumer buying decisions, attitudes, behaviours or lifestyles from market research surveys or consumer panels
Data of this type is sourced from government sources such as: the UK Census data from the Office of National Statistics, publicly available records, self-reported consumer survey information, aggregated consumer panel and market research surveys (such as YouGov), and websites that have your permission to share information about visitors, public records and historical retail purchases with us.
Models to predict likely characteristics
Experian’s marketing database contains actual names and addresses of UK consumers together with a range of modelled data to describe their likely characteristics. Using statistical techniques, Experian uses anonymised data sources to build models to indicate the likelihood an individual, household or geographic area exhibits certain characteristics and behaviours. For example, the likelihood of there being children present in the household, or the likelihood an area has lots of people who might visit a new retail fashion outlet.
A model can’t provide certainty but it can provide insight around what offers or services are likely to be most relevant to a particular group.
Our models are created from aggregated and / or anonymised data from government data sources, publicly available records, self-reported consumer survey information, aggregated consumer panel and market research surveys (such as YouGov), and websites that have permission to share information about visitors, public records and historical retail purchases.
Examples of the modelled data that we build includes:
- Demographics – likely age, gender, marital status, income, occupation and education
- Modelled behavioural and lifestyle characteristics – how likely you are to participate in various hobbies or sporting activities, what your travel preferences might be, the likelihood you use high-tech equipment and your likely purchasing behaviour
- Consumer Groups and Types - using data from a variety of source to create a series of ‘types’ (often called ‘segments’ by marketers) that are likely to contain households or postcodes with similar demographics, lifestyle and behaviours. Our Mosaic segmentation is widely used by organisations across many sectors to understand the likely characteristics of consumers.