CRO @ Data Sentinel
It’s Monday morning and I am back at it working on a variety of projects and goals for my company while tending to my day-to-day activities for both my business and personal life. I am, like everyone else, working digitally to ensure that I am caught up on my tasks for the day. As a leader in my company, I am reviewing and creating data daily in the search for better business outcomes and new strategies to take advantage of it.
Like most people in their 50’s I grew up in a world where data volumes were much smaller, data use was not as prevalent as it is today, and managing data was both costly and data stored was minimized. Oddly enough I started my career in a data center, where the wholesale use of consumer data required large numbers of magnetic and cartridge (tape). Executing programs required massive, air-cooled machines that read, utilized, and did mostly operational work against consumer data to keep the lights on and keep billing systems operating effectively. Those days of small data volumes and compute complexity are long gone.
We, as consumers, are all used to the fact that storage is cheap, cloud environments ease or at times contribute to data sprawl and our information is spreading rapidly from ourselves clacking on keys to the wide variety of programs collecting, implementing, and organizations deciding on new and interesting ways to take advantage of YOUR data. As someone in the software space, I am keenly aware of how my personal information is being collected by entities to build better intelligence about my buying habits. On the flip side, I think about using data constantly to grow our business through effective engagement, brand awareness, marketing, and sales plays as well as delivering targeted approaches to enhance that process.
Take that very basic premise that we are consistently generating information about ourselves knowingly and our data is being used to drive monetization and growth for companies based on our actions. These could include data on our online shopping habits, customer fulfillment, marketing data, and gathering of information to enhance customer experiences using your Data. While we do not see this approach changing anytime soon, our digital, consumer-based society continues to grow and inform the strategies for effective data use.
Another new dimension we are seeing a shift in is consumer data rights including compliance. These new mandates are becoming more prevalent, and the data privacy market has exploded with organizations deploying better control and protection of consumer data. This is driving a technology boom to help support these mandates and effectively puts pressure on organizations to build competency on how they understand and manage YOUR data. I see this as a very positive impact on how we, as consumers and producers of data, can effectively leverage this data following the rules of the game. The shift towards consumer data advocacy will not automatically protect you but it’s a good start to give individuals the power to understand how your data is used and what rights you have.
More progressive organizations are becoming better shepherds of consumer data and preparing themselves to mitigate a potential breach of YOUR data. These companies, the ones we trust, are enforcing standards in the security arena but also getting better informed of what data they store, and how much of it. This is the new generation of putting safeguards in place on data these companies have about you. Global data breach numbers are astronomical in number, nearing 5,000 records per second, and this is changing the dynamic in Data Governance and data ethics policies being enforced. This shift is providing more insight on how a trusted organization takes great strides to invest in the control and protection of OUR data.
Finally, I have noticed a shift in the dynamic of the Data Governance organizations that I believe is very positive. First, well-governed organizations are shifting from documenting data (business terms, policies, data mapping, and lineage) to more of a deep understanding and inventory of their most sensitive information. These better-informed companies are moving towards a trusted data approach on where, when, how, and why sensitive information is being used across their companies. The change is good, and it is impacting their data organizations positively. Second, the impacts of a data breach can prove catastrophic to the company, and knowledge of the data at risk can be used preventatively. This shift in the paradigm of Data Governance programs is expanding their mission of control and documentation to protection and enforcement. Over the past year, I have noticed the role of Data Privacy, Information Security and Compliance resources directly engaged in Data Governance and Data Ethics practices.
My one guiding principle to myself and my customers is simple: Know Your Data, inform yourselves on who has it, act where you can protect it, and use trusted organizations when sharing your personal information. Use your time wisely, but keep an eye focused, read through your emails, unsubscribe from websites you don’t recognize, review your credit data and any other data reports you can manage. Work with companies you need and trust and understand their company mission as it relates to YOUR data.