Whenever you interact with a customer, user, or employee, there is a high risk of data being used or exchanged. In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to get by without access to some data protected by some legislation.
It seems that data breaches and privacy issues are happening on a more common basis. From Equifax to Facebook, companies face stricter rules when processing, managing and using data in their day to day business.
Your company can’t afford to ignore data compliance. Today it’s more important than ever to get it right. This post will help you understand what data compliance is, how it works, and how you can protect your business.
What do we mean by data compliance?
Data compliance is the process of following regulations that stipulate how it should manage the organization’s digital assets.
These regulations can be different based on geography, and there are often multiple regulations that a company must comply with when dealing with data daily.
The data that the regulation is referring to is usually PII (personally identifiable information). Still, in other cases, it can include financial information and additional information related to an individual or business.
Data compliance v data security
It’s important not to confuse these two terms. They might concern similar goals, such as minimizing the risk that a company is exposed to. Data compliance is specifically compliance with legally stipulated standards. Data security refers to all the processes and guards that are used when managing and interacting with data.
Why is data compliance important?
Failure to comply exposes your company to huge risks
The most obvious motivations for focusing on data compliance are that a failure to do so creates an extreme risk to your business. In some cases, this risk can represent the end of your business, but with legislation stipulating huge fines, it’s essential to get on top of compliance.
These risks can be financial or reputational. For example, in the EU, GDPR stipulates that in the event of a data breach, fines can reach up to 10 million Euros, or up to 2% of a company’s entire global turnover.
Your companies reputation is on the line
For other businesses, especially consumer-focused ones, the damage can be irreversible and can dramatically negatively affect a company’s reputation.
Consumers need to trust the companies that use their personal data, and a failure to do compliance properly can have the effect of customers leaving in droves, and have a nasty effect on your customer retention.
Compliance is an opportunity to build a smarter company
Today’s consumers have become more concerned about how their data is used and where it is used. Businesses must take these concerns seriously or face the consequences.
However, getting compliance right can positively affect consumer loyalty and win business by setting clear differentiating factors with the competition. Many in the tech space have scoffed at Apple’s new approach to consumer privacy, and the effect on consumers might not be realized soon.
But, putting compliance front and center of your mission statement can have a hugely positive effect on how new and existing customers perceive you.
Challenges with data compliance
Data compliance doesn’t fit neatly into a single department
Who takes ownership of compliance? This may be clear in larger organizations, but for smaller businesses, it’s not always clear where it fits.
The fact that there are multiple roles and departments for compliance makes it harder to build an effective process. Businesses need a solution that can work neatly with multiple teams and across departments to provide a holistic view of data compliance.
Data compliance isn’t plug and play (yet)
There are usually many toolkits for most existential business concerns that can help solve issues quickly and with little implementations. For data compliance, this isn’t true.
This is why Wult is building an end to end compliance toolkit. We hope it will help companies get on top of compliance with minimal effort and reduce compliance workload.
To understand compliance, you need to understand your data and where it comes from
To comply with data legislation, you need to understand all of your data sources. What type of data do you collect, how is it used, and what guard is there protecting subjects?
This can get messy quickly, but with useful tagging and categorization in the ingestion and processing phases, this process can be significantly improved. Planning can allow for much easier compliance once multiple people across several departments are using data.
Data compliance is different, depending on where you are
For larger companies, there are multiple regulatory concerns for the same type of data. This adds another layer to data compliance, making it difficult to track and understand where errors might have occurred.
If you are a global company, you need an efficient way of complying with GDPR, CCPA, and other legislation based on where the data was collected or how the data is eventually used.
Building a better data compliance strategy
Start with the customer in mind
When looking at data compliance, you need to start at the beginning. Your customer’s data is essential, and they are trusting you with it to manage it correctly. This means that compliance should extend to your customers and how they communicate with you.
Your customers should be able to do more than provide you with data. Compliance means providing a channel for communication with your customers. How can they see the data that you have on them? How can they engage with you, and how can you respond to their questions effectively and in a timely manner?
Wult’s compliance platform has been designed to work from your first customer through to processing 000’s of daily data requests. We help businesses instantly set up opt-out and tools to honor any customer data requests.
Alongside this, we offer you a dashboard where requests can be actioned, audited, and alerts can be raised within your team with any compliance issues or risks, should they emerge.
Include stakeholders in the journey
For key stakeholders, data compliance is one of the most critical issues. They want to know that compliance is being done correctly, and they need a way of auditing compliance efforts to track company progress.
Wult’s data compliance platform keeps all stakeholders informed and up to date with a powerful global view of compliance within a company. These views help improve compliance and identify errors or breaches before it’s too late.
This holistic view can be extended to different teams to ensure that your whole organization is pitching in with their expertise.
Bridging the gap between data and legal
Make sure that you keep your data and legal teams on the same page. Traditionally there has been a disconnect between the legal teams that exist to protect the companies interests and the data teams that love to move fast and break things.
Bringing both together and giving them a complete view of compliance increases the speed that data can be used and ensures that compliance is done with maximum efficiency.
Focus on how fast your company can react
Building a data compliance strategy requires you to assess how quickly you can react to data breaches, errors, or alerts. After all, reacting quicker can be the difference between no fine and multiple thousands of dollars.
All in one solutions like Wult are designed to provide a holistic view of compliance. With helpful alerts and integrations into your daily workflow, your company is better prepared for any data related issues.
For modern businesses, data compliance can be an existential issue. Many companies are still relying on outdated systems to alert them of errors or breaches in data processing.
With increased scrutiny on companies that use data, businesses must develop a data compliance strategy that reduces the risk they are exposed to.
On top of this, building a powerful data compliance strategy also presents an opportunity to provide value for customers. By offering instant access to customer data, creating a holistic view, and engaging team members across the business, it’s possible to turn data compliance into a powerful reassessment of how your business approaches data management.