Wellington — 20 July, 2021—Xero, the global small business platform, today announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind Xero Responsible Data Use Advisory Council, comprised of experts and thought leaders across the globe dedicated to educating and empowering small business owners on responsible data use.
The Council was founded to underscore Xero’s commitment to using data responsibly and underpins how Xero leverages the data in our small business platform to benefit small businesses and their advisors. The inaugural group of Council members, who come from the small business community and industry experts around the world, will also focus on filling a vital education gap that currently exists within the small business community around data sharing and responsible data use. (See Council members listed below.) Xero will look to add additional Council members as needed in the future.
Highlighting the need for greater understanding of how to use data responsibly, a recent survey* of global small business owners commissioned by Xero, found that less than one-quarter (17%) say they understand completely how their tech providers use their business’s data. In addition, more than one-third admit their own customers likely do not fully understand how their business is collecting and using their customer data. When asked to identify the benefits, if any, of sharing data with tech providers, the most popular answer (36%) was none. The most common concerns about sharing data were: data being sold/shared without permission, data being used in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, data being stolen or data being used to sell more services/products.
Kendra Vant, Executive General Manager, Data and Chair of the Xero Responsible Data Use Advisory Council, said: “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. I'm excited to see this group of industry leaders help small business owners formulate deeper understanding and best practices for their own businesses and empower them to be confident in managing data use responsibly with their own customers.”
Rachael Powell, Chief Customer Officer, Xero said: “We can’t 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 and how data is utilized. At Xero, we’re committed to building products that leverage data responsibly and that also drive valuable insights for our customers enabling them to more effectively run their business. We also want to empower our customers to easily understand how their tech partners use their data.”
Over the next 12 months, the Council will facilitate an education program, featuring original content, resources and best practices featured on www.xero.com. 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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Xero is a cloud-based accounting software platform for small businesses with over 2.7 million subscribers globally. Through Xero, small business owners and their advisors have access to real-time financial data any time, anywhere and on any device. Xero offers an ecosystem of over 1,000 third-party apps and 300 plus connections to banks and other financial partners. In 2020 and 2021, Xero was included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and in 2020, Xero was recognized by IDC MarketScape as a leader in its worldwide SaaS and cloud-enabled small business finance and accounting applications vendor assessment.
*Xero commissioned market research, conducted by Perceptive in April, 2021, asking 2,620 small business owners in Australia (n=503), New Zealand (n=417), the United Kingdom (n=591), the United States (n=491), Canada (n=340), Hong Kong (n=97) and Singapore (n=181) to understand the opportunities and challenges they face regarding data use and the benefits of data sharing
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