Whenever there is something in abundance, you need to devise a strategy to handle the plenty so that it does not go to waste. Companies as of now have been facing a similar problem with the arrival of big data for the last two years as there is, no doubt, way too much data. While this is a different debate altogether as to whether companies can chew so much data, there is little doubt regarding the fact that it is being poured into the fray.
As statistics has revealed, in the last millennium, the total amount of data produced is equal to the data produced alone in a year now and it is only increasing. With information variety increasing exponentially too with new sources of data joining the database every single day, it is increasingly becoming difficult to devise a method to contain, recycle and use such pile of data. However, executives often consider aggregating data to be the sole source of success where the more the data, the more powerful you are. While this is true to an extent, this data is of no avail if you don’t learn to protect or channel it properly.
More breaches, less security
Recent investigations have revealed that as data becomes pervasive, data security also becomes more fragile. Executives who manage the issue of information risk are increasingly considering methods to block frequent data breaches that have multiplied over the years. In fact, companies dealing with sensitive data, and that indicates a large pool of companies because most of them are dealing with personal data to find out more about the consumer characteristics, are really at legal and technological risk. From social security numbers to credit card information- everything that you considered private is a moment away from being completely exposed.
Of course, the simplest solution is not to touch sensitive data and work with the other information at hand. However, once you have travelled the path, there is no returning back. Big data almost compels you to deal with such data since the prospects are exciting in terms of business. In fact, often companies collect sensitive data for the sake of collecting and then hardly use it. Keeping it for no reason once you have used it or keeping it unused not only invites trouble for data management but also regulatory risks later on. So, a regular evaluation becomes mandatory.
What to collect and why?
The most important and immediate intervention necessary as a part of data strategy is to reject this craze for data collection. Rather, collect the data that is immediately needed because as you parse the information and extract the useful, the necessity for new data will be born out of it and then, you also solve the unnecessary storage issues that come with excessive collection. Another important consideration should be the company’s technological abilities as it may not be yet ready to handle such large bulk of data. If analytic capabilities fall short, then there is all the more trouble.
If you start addressing these questions, then addressing questions like security problems and CIO responsibility becomes much easier so it is important for industries to work in collaboration to solve the great risk that is being currently posed by the big data exodus. In fact, companies should not give in to the demands of the stakeholders in the mad rush for data which is precisely why data strategy has become so important.
Considering the public
Public interest is at risk when you lay hands on big data, so there are few points of concerns there too. First of all, each data has its own public concern so before using or collecting it, you should think whether public would approve of such a move or not. Often, companies think that legal protection is enough to ensure the data privacy. But consent is a factor that is often forgotten in this regard. Also, if you are using any highly sensitive information which may lead to financial or social crisis if breached, then you should use a different set of security practices for such data. Any breach of such data can lead to a large-scale social disaster.
In fact, there is no need to preserve this information once you are done with it because data priorities change over time. So, if any highly sensitive dataset loses its business priority over the years, even then it is still top priority for many individuals. So, doing away with sensitive data is mandatory rather than considering the data to be useful later on at some indefinite time. While the data is in shelves however, you should restrict its usage to the concerned employees only. There can be many kinds of interests vested in this kind of data so protecting it by hook or crook is necessary.