Let’s face it: conducting a data audit can be a real pain. Nevertheless, it’s a necessary action in today’s data-driven world.
Auditing your data, the process of assessing how fit a company’s data is for use, requires you to map your data so it can be evaluated for accuracy, breadth and consistency. Though these comprehensive reviews can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if done manually, they give confidence to companies that their data is sound. And while it may seem like a data audit is more work than it’s worth, the consequences of not doing one can be disastrous, especially when it comes to regulators.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), perhaps the most well-known and strict data protection legislation, has shown in its short history that no company is safe from the consequences of non-compliance. In fact, since coming into force on May 25, 2018, some of the largest companies in the world have faced hefty penalties.
If your data isn’t audited and cleaned regularly, your organization risks facing similarly costly fines – and a fine isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. There are other problems related to disorganized and misunderstood information, like:
- Wasted work hours searching for information
- Exponential growth (both in volume and complexity) of data
- Lack of insight into who is using what data and where it’s located [To understand the power of complete data understanding, check out this case study about a medical company who were in the dark about their information.]
A Competitive Advantage
Messy data can have real consequences for you and your organization. Despite the challenge that a data audit may pose, assessing and evaluating what you have can not only help you avoid these unfortunate outcomes, it can also give you a competitive edge. A strong understanding of your data ensures better business decisions and operations in general. More importantly, it will give you the confidence to set up an ongoing and automated content cleanup program.
A data audit can also reap other benefits, allowing you to:
- Identify inaccurate or useless data so you can take action on it
- Ensure a high standard of quality so you have full confidence in your data
- Uncover silos and dark data you may not know you have which hold valuable insights to your business
And with the right software solution (we can help with this!), you can reduce the heavy lift that typically goes into a data audit while still gaining the above benefits.
Where to Start?
If you’re ready to move forward with a data audit, the best place you can start is by understanding and organizing your data. By getting your information and files in order, you’ll be setting your organization up for complete data understanding so you can evaluate your data and action it accordingly.
You don’t have to do this alone. Shinydocs can help you get a complete picture of your information so you can stay ahead of regulations and minimize the risk to your organization. Learn how we can help you rethink data for better business operations.