Co-creating value through reverse use of customer data in services based on self-tracking - case OP Financial Group

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Self-tracking is not new but it has been practiced with pen and paper for a long time. Digital devices, such as smart phones and activity bracelets, have made self-tracking more convenient. In addition to consumers, companies have become more interested in the possibilities of self-tracking and the use of self-tracking data. Typically, companies have harnessed customer data for processes inside the company and not so much for the benefit of their customers. However, in services based on selftracking, such as pay-as-you-live insurances, the customer’s role as a data collector and a reflector is vital. The purpose of this thesis was to study how self-trackers use data to create value and how a company can support customers’ value creation in services based on self-tracking. The research was conducted as a single-case study. The case company OP Financial Group is one of the first Finnish companies who has piloted pay-as-you-live insurances. The primary data consisted of 14 semi-structured thematic interviews with OP’s customers with versatile experience in self-tracking. In order to find suitable interviewees, health insurance customers were pre-interviewed. Abductive content analysis was used to promote interplay between the theory and the data. The findings suggest that self-trackers use data as an input to value creation in three main ways: keeping a diary of everyday activities, viewing everyday as numbers and interpreting life through health. Playing, checkpointing, learning and goal orientation are combinations of the three aforementioned ways to create value from data. Customers do not create value in a vacuum but in continuous interaction with the company during the iterative process of self-tracking. The individuals view self-tracking as a possibility to take control over their own health and wellbeing. However, they experience challenges in understanding and estimating the possible benefits and risks in using the data for their benefit. They also view that they own their data and they should have influence on how it is used. Hence, customers require similar possibilities to access the data as the company has. Besides, transparent dialogue about how decisions are made based on the data, is perceived important. The study contributes on the research in the emerging field of value co-creation through reverse use of customer data by providing insights about the customer side of value co-creation and the interactions between the customer and the company in the services based on self-tracking.
Thesis advisor
Mitronen, Lasse
Rusanen, Olli
self-tracking, value co-creation, reverse use of customer data, service-dominant logic, customer relationship management, itsensä mittaaminen, arvon yhteisluominen, asiakastiedon käänteinen käyttö
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