Why collecting, storing, and utilising people’s data should be one of the highest individual importances for companies and organisations in business today.
With the business world moving increasingly toward online and digital resources, there is an ever-increasing need to make sure that all of the data that businesses obtain and store surrounding their customers, business figures, and staff, for example, are kept safe from infiltration, harm, and potential abuse.
A secure and robust data management strategy aims to assist people, businesses, and any connected entities to efficiently collect and utilise only the specified data within the guidelines of company policy and regulations and operate those guidelines within the law.
The need for data management services is on the rise as the importance of data asset safety grows and to ensure all businesses are GDPR compliant and their data is managed correctly within the law’s restrictions.
Any business or person that has the potential to hold personal data will be governed by the updated Data Protection Act 2018 (also known as EU GDPR), which is set out by law and aims to make the storage and usage of personal and business-led data as safe as possible. Any detrimental breach of GDPR, whether knowingly or unknowingly, can result in legal action being taken and sanctions being placed on the company, such as fines and prosecution.
- Fair and Lawful Use- This is as clear as it sounds and aims to allow businesses to collect data, but only for the use it is intended.
- Specific for Intended Purpose- Meaning someone can only use the data in accordance with the permissions given.
- Minimum Data Requirement- States you must only ask for and obtain those relevant details for the purpose; any collection of excessive data is not permitted.
- Need for Accuracy- This indicates that there is a need to occasionally check the data you hold to make sure it is relevant and up to date. People will change their information often, which makes the information being stored irrelevant.
- Data Retention Time Limit- There is no set limit on the timeframe you have to remove or delete data if the person never withdraws consent. Still, best practice states there should be a limit set within a data management plan.
- The right to be forgotten- This right is for the person to who the data relates, and they have the right to know precisely what you know about them and the right to remove that consent to be forgotten by you.
- Ensuring Data Security- It is the responsibility of the data holder to ensure that the data that is stored is secure from attack, theft, and misuse. Good data governance practices should be of the highest importance to satisfy GDPR.
- Accountability- simply means that the company is taking responsibility for any data in their care, and appointing a data collection leader can help to govern the use of data in-house.
The process of managing hard-copy data and digital data within any organisation can be a monumental task, so it’s not surprising that most businesses have a dedicated team that deals solely with data management.
Robustly managing and having a strategy to do so is complex. Still, it is required to ensure that data stored and utilised throughout a business is organised, accessible by only those who require it specifically, legal and safe from harm.
Safety measures can include:
- Regular Revision of policies
- Up to date firewalls
- Physical safety measures
- Restricted and multi-faceted access
Data management can involve such a wide range of governance, both on a locality and lawful level, numerous policies and procedures to outline the business needs and requirements, and implementing best practices concerning that data, such as:
- Ensure information is accessible only by authorised personnel for the reasons intended
- Ensure data privacy and high asset security
- Store data safely and accurately according to procedure and law
- Ensure data is available when requested and reviewed for relevance periodically
- Regularly audit data collection and storage practices for adherence
- Archive and destroy irrelevant data according to compliance, law, and requests
- Protect data from harm, making sure it is not accessible via infiltration, hacking, or theft.
Overall, a robust data management strategy should be challenging to infiltrate but easy to maintain against policies, procedures, and law. The success of any business or organisation can be measured by the success of its data management strategy. Any reputable businesses will understand that the data they collect and use is a powerful entity in being able to transition their business position in times of change, whether that be trends in business, restructuring, or client/consumer demand.
Any business or organisation that deals with people know the importance of analysing consumer or client data to maneuver and adapt the services or goods they provide in line with what the data analysis shows them.
Keeping client, customer, and staff data safe via a robust data management system is an excellent way of obtaining and retaining their trust in the organisation; not to mention that the data analysis can be a huge business driver (or indeed create a business pivot point) when the business needs to follow trends and demand to grow.
By implementing a complex and multifaceted data management collection and protection strategy allows the data to be collected, stored, and utilised safely from harm, whether that be physical or cyber, and can work towards building a trusted and protected data asset niche for a trusted and successful business.