Why Use Data Governance?
You may be seeking out the definition of data governance and if it is a service you should invest in because someone else in your business peer circle has dealt with a lawsuit. Unfortunately, there are several good reasons to hire an information governance steward to help your company avoid multi-million dollar lawsuits. Many of these lawsuits are related to not following ethics laws, and the ability to avoid a lack of information governance is easily accessible. On top of this, you can ensure the long-term health of your company by always having information governance compliance data ready for any investigation that may erroneously come your way.
What is data governance?
When you fill out forms online, you may not realize they are the result of information governance. Whether you are filling out a single application or several on the same website, the organization, coordination and storing of that information is called governance. Having information stored in particular ways to keep it safe from prying eyes (virtual or physical) is a top ethics concern in the legal field. In the past, keeping a lock on a file cabinet for sensitive materials behind another locked door was a good way to keep thieves from accessing legally private medical information, for instance. However, in the age of computers, archiving means keeping hackers out of data systems, and is not only a matter of ethics; it is also the law.
What can I expect from information governance services?
When you sign up with an information governance steward, they will focus on four main themes with the work they do. The first one is the most obvious to customers and employees, and it involves aligning all of the computerized systems you have at your company. This ultimately makes them more user-friendly. Despite this, organizing your data may also bring to light that certain roles or responsibilities need to be redefined and created. The third and fourth objectives of a new information governance role at your company include data life progression balancing and process documentation. This means all tasks are completed on time, and can be immediately verified.
Why should my company or organization use information governance?
Along with private businesses, healthcare facilities and schools are also at risk for having a lack of information governance. For example, a medical office that has an issue with information governance may not have evidence to show they have a signed HIPAA compliance order from every single patient they have served. Ultimately, the main issues that a company or organization can avoid with information governance are regulatory fines, data-related security breaches or lawsuits. The other problem is not having any evidence to turn in for a legal discovery. In the end, these situations can be expensive, and they can also cause a loss of reputation.
How will security increases help my business in the short-term?
When you have a company that is following every law and has the paperwork to prove it, you may be able to ask for discounts. This includes paying for clauses in your legal services contract you no longer need. You may also be able to get discounts on bankruptcy and other types of business insurance. After all, if you are avoiding getting sued over data governance, your ability to be a good investment is apparent to others.
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Let’s face it. The issue of data privacy has really always been an important one. In the good old days, everybody locked their filing cabinets and rented safety deposit boxes at the bank. However, now that much of our data is digitized and we’re sharing more and more information online every day, data privacy takes on a much greater importance in 2018.
Reduce the Risk of Data Breaches
For example, a company could be retaining personal info for millions of customers. That data must be kept private at all times so that their identities stay safe along with the company’s reputation. Data breaches have been in the news a great deal lately and unfortunately, some companies are suffering for it. Don't let your company be one of them.
There are numerous laws and regulations related to privacy that businesses of all sizes have to be aware of during the collection and use of their customers’ data, not just in the U.S. but worldwide as well. Here, we have to pay special attention to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements in addition to state and local laws when conducting business.
At Data Ethics LLC, our team can help your team to be ready for any eventuality related to data privacy via several strategies designed for developing your company's comprehensive privacy plan, including:
Sensitive Personal Info
In this digital age, the idea of privacy is generally applied to critical personal information, aka personal health information (PHI) or personally identifiable information (PII). This could encompass health and medical records, Social Security numbers (SS#), and financial data like credit card numbers or bank account info. It could even include very basic information that is still considered sensitive, like the full name, address, and birthdate of a customer. In fact, the list of personal info that is highly sensitive can be quite extensive.
For businesses, the privacy issue goes way beyond the PII of your customers and employees. It can also include all of the information that is keeping your company operational, whether it’s financial info that shows how you spend and invest your money or proprietary R&D data. If any of that data were to get into the wrong hands, the impact could be disastrous for your business.
Data breaches are a clear and present danger, as well, for other important entities, including but not limited to the following:
When you hire a new data governance firm to handle your information, you may not know where to jump on board or what to expect. Furthermore, you might struggle with creating the right introductory materials to help explain to your company what they will need to do to welcome a new information governance firm. However, once you are introduced to popular governance data topics, it will be easier for you to understand what your experience with the firm will entail. To find out more about the topics that you will encounter, take a look at the outline below.
No more incomplete DIY spreadsheets
If you are worried because you were on the data governance team but have been replaced by an outside firm, do not feel stressed. While many companies have good intentions when they assign their busy employees to data compliance, the company leaders may not grasp how time-consuming and abstract the job actually is. Unfortunately, another major complication that happens in multinational corporations is leaving the job of data stewardship to third-party organizations that do not specialize in governance. In the end, the issue many corporations face is getting a lawsuit or regulatory fee issued due to non-compliance because the governance task was left up to a poorly organized meeting. Instead of pushing to have employees with other responsibilities or fields of knowledge attempt to keep up with DIY data governance spreadsheets and meetings, hiring a dedicated team is an ideal solution. Hiring a private service for data stewardship as opposed to having an in-house team can also help your business because they can share what methods work for other companies.
Start small and think big
In the beginning, data compliance efforts will have trial and error. For example, the data platform may have instability. Regardless, employees looking to jump on board with a new data steward service will need to prepare to start with small projects that might seem insignificant. While these projects may not make sense at first or fail altogether, each component must be perfected to comply with the larger, concluding picture. With diligence and detail-oriented focus coming from both the company employees and a data steward service, infallible information governance can become a short-term reality.
Fixing data problems also means creating new products, solutions
If your company has consistently struggled with your technology platform being inflexible, hiring a data or information compliance team will push to make this critical change. Once your baseline systems are operating in a way that increases data speed, types and volumes, your company will see the advantages. Not only will you be complying with ethics, but, as a side benefit, your technology platform changes will make your data more user-friendly or increase workflow for both customers and employees.
We can fix your data or information governance issues
When you are seeking experts in data or information governance to help you avoid a lawsuit, regulatory fine or lack of evidence when called for a legal discovery, give us a call. We specialize in data ethics, and our ability to help you gain a reputation for dependability is our goal. We will meet with your company and explain in detail what our end product will achieve. To find out more or schedule a meeting, contact us today.
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