The value of data discovery
Organizations can uncover a goldmine of operational and regulatory compliance benefits when they understand where their data is stored and correlate it between systems. However, it is often challenging to implement a viable solution to achieve those benefits.
Organizations often invest little time in searching for disconnected data, but the growing pressure of privacy regulations and increasing public scrutiny place a new urgency on the task. The best response is to stop searching and establish a clear process of data discovery and data validation that is efficient and effective.
Data discovery drivers
The most common tools that privacy professionals use for data inventory and mapping are email, spreadsheets, in-person communication and other manual methods, according to the latest IAPP-FTI Consulting Privacy Governance Report.
But the data demands of the latest regulatory requirements and enterprise solutions are outgrowing traditional manual methods. That’s part of why many organizations are turning to data discovery tools and automation.
Data discovery can use streamlined workflows and AI-driven technology to remove many manual data management tasks. This can help organizations meet regulatory compliance mandates, validate record keeping activities and reduce the cost and manual effort required to fulfil privacy requests.
Another driving factor behind data discovery is the need to see into unstructured data. The IAPP report found that the most difficult data subject requests were the ones involving unstructured data. The advanced AI and machine learning capabilities in data discovery solutions can help identify information in unstructured data (such as disconnected files and documents) and can help match it to the associated data subject.
7 components of a data discovery program
Data discovery is a multi-step process that requires both technology and supporting governance processes. Here are the components to consider when building out a data discovery program:
Benefits of a data discovery program
Apart from meeting the needs of new regulatory requirements and enterprise systems, data discovery can:
- provide an in-depth understanding of what data your organization collects, where it’s stored, who can access it and how it’s transmitted.
- set a baseline for cross-organizational data flow mapping while reducing the cost and resource efforts required to fulfill privacy requests.
- prepare organizations to quickly and efficiently scale programs to meet future regulatory compliance needs, while establishing standards for meeting existing regulatory compliance obligations.
When organizations understand the value of data discovery, they can find critical information and a goldmine of new business value.
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