GDPR \u2013 General Data Protection Regulation \u2013 is a very well-known EU-driven regulatory framework and most readers would be familiar with the essence of the same \u2013 if you are hearing it for the first time, here is a quick and dirty explanation. It codifies the ownership, accountability and rights of service providers and consumers alike and focuses on these main tenets \u2013 data portability, breach notification, data protection by design and default, data\/storage minimization, opt-in consent, right-to-erasure, appropriate technical measures and evidence of compliance (if your even more curious here are more details).Now that we are on the same page, I want to focus your attention one important tenet \u2013 data\/storage minimization. While innocuous sounding, this is huge. The importance of adherence or not to this can really make or break an organization. How so? The cost of storage has plummeted \u2013 flash, hybrid, cloud \u2013 you name it. Especially cloud, where you literally have \u201cunlimited\u201d storage and as a result you do what any business would do \u2013 collect all the data in the world because you can and the incremental cost of collecting another terabyte of data in a day (!!) is not even worth debating. And you have been doing this for years, decades even sometimes. And that results in a few new twists as it comes to GDPR conformance.Do I start data minimization as of May 25, 2018?I was having a conversation with a friend who runs a small service provider outfit the other day and he shared with me that they were looking to dramatically reduce the time period for which they would collect data for any EU resident down from years to literally four weeks. And this included everything \u2013 structured data, emails, PII etc. Unless otherwise required by law like an ongoing litigation, this was going to be their stance going forward. But it gets better, after assessing the overhead of having different sets of rules for EU and non-EU nationals, he decided to have a uniform rule for ALL his customers. So GDPR data minimization for all. #Wow. Is that a forward-thinking organization or a wonky one? Read on.AI and machine learning anyone?The easiest way to understand the stages leading to true AI is the following four in sequence \u2013 \u201cdata discovery\u201d leading to \u201cdata insight\u201d leading to \u201cprediction\u201d leading to \u201caction.\u201d But it starts with \u201cdata discovery.\u201d And as seen from the introduction, this collection of data everywhere and constantly has never been an economic issue because of the dramatic reduction in storage cost. The mantra I oft hear is \u201cwe will collect it now because we can and can analyze and discard what is not needed later.\u201d\u00a0 And good data insight and prediction of the future is hinged on larger data sets to offset any biases or aberrations that smaller data sets can cause. What does that mean? It means the more we collect, the better our eventual AI algorithms will be. But that flies right in the face of \u201cdata minimization.\u201d Or does it? The \u201ccollect now and analyze later\u201d is the problem. If the temporal drift in data collection, insight, prediction and action can be reduced so that within the 30-day period boundary of data collection extremities \u2013 as in the case of my friend \u2013 this process can be run multiple times, so data hoarding is never an issue. And the \u2018insight, prediction and action\u2019 are enduring \u2013 they will live beyond the 30-day data destruction boundary.What does it mean to you and me as consumers?If, as a result of the above, also known as the service provider running closed loop discovery > insight > prediction > action, the consumer sees immediate and tangible benefits based on their talking, texting, browsing, sharing habits, it could be a really positive outcome for the consumer. An example of this \u2013 nothing to do with GDPR \u2013 but one that I bring up in conversations to highlight how analytics can help end consumers positively as well. Netflix \u2013 the poster child for analytics on AWS \u2013 has benefitted tremendously from your and my viewing habits to create hit TV shows. But let\u2019s take my example \u2013 we were on the $9.99 plan which included HD and simultaneous streaming on two devices. And then on a whim, one day I checked to see if they had a cheaper plan and lo and behold they did \u2013 a $7.99 plan which included SD and single device streaming only.But get this \u2013 we have ONLY streamed to a single device ever and Netflix analytics knew this, except it was of no consequence to them, but it was to me and an email suggesting a cheaper plan is available would have probably made a fan out of me. Except, they did not and I felt \u201cviolated\u201d (I was a hard-nosed product leader as anyone and maximizing revenues is great but I also realize now that using technology to build enduring relationships with customers is a win-win in the long run). Anyway, where am I going with this? Immediate, impactful analysis of consumer data and using that to build better solutions could be a real win in this GDPR world.So, there is my assertion about the \u201cunintended consequences\u201d of GDPR. Use data minimization as a trigger to do more real time analytics and predictions and turn around and give customers a better experience based on their current consumption patterns in real-time. Isn\u2019t that a different take on what GDPR could bring to us?