Want to earn customer trust? You need data discovery

Automated unstructured data discovery and governance is the key to consumer trust in fintech

Consumers are more willing than ever to share their data. According to one study, 70 percent of consumers around the world are willing to share their data with organizations so long as there’s some kind of benefit, such as convenience, and that those organizations are transparent about how they will be using the data.

In another survey, over half of respondents said they’re willing to share sensitive personal data such as medical information, in exchange for a useful app or service.

Whether it’s the convenience of quickly seeing their medical test results, investing in the stock market, or sending money abroad with a few clicks, consumers are happy to continue sharing more and more of their personal data with companies. 

You can get all of your customers’ data, but you have to maintain their trust

This results in a few things. 

First, there is a massive amount of unstructured data that financial services organizations have  to manage across multiple repositories. The amount of global data will hit 180 zettabytes by 2025 and unstructured data will account for 90 percent of that number. As a reminder, unstructured data are all of the files, emails, photos, images, videos, spreadsheets, and more that sit in shared drives, MS Teams, email attachments, Sharepoint, and other repositories. 

Secondly, consumers are placing a significant amount of trust in these organizations. They expect these organizations to be stewards of their data and understand the risk inherent in holding it by ensuring the proper protections are in place. As a result, there’s been a significant ramp up in data privacy regulations. Gartner predicted that by this year, 65 percent of the world’s population would have its personal data protected under regulations. Moreover, these regulations are getting increasingly granular across different jurisdictions. For instance:

  • Global organizations have to account for the specific rules and obligations of the different regions they serve, such as GDPR in the EU or CCPA in California
  • Organizations must be able to tell consumers what kind of information they have about them in a timely manner and delete that data (right to be forgotten) upon customer request.
  • Organizations need to have an inventory that they can use to understand what they’re collecting, using, sharing, and storing
  • They need a way to produce data protection impact assessments, execute on data breach notification procedures, and manage other data governance processes

Successful financial services organizations will innovate despite privacy regulations thanks to automated unstructured data management

Privacy regulations create difficulty for innovators and creators in the financial technology space. The good intentions of individuals struggle to scale across their organizations. Business moves too quickly and consumer data pours in so fast, making it impossible for a team of data governance professionals to manually keep up.

While there are certainly processes in place that can help manage the flow of unstructured data – retention rules, governance frameworks – executing on these high-level concepts at the speed required with constrained resources is difficult or often times impossible. A framework cannot account for: 

  • An employee quickly typing sensitive information into a Word document or Powerpoint during a customer call and leaving it in an unsecured shared drive
  • An employee sharing a spreadsheet as an email attachment and then forgetting to manually transfer it to an enterprise content management system with the appropriate metadata tags

Create a content inventory that simplifies managing, retrieving, and protecting consumer data

The solution is to manage your unstructured data in place. Imagine if the moment your data were created and saved, there was an automated  gatekeeper that took a look at the file and determined how the business should treat it. 

This kind of automated, in-place approach to unstructured data management is what’s required for modern organizations trying to protect their consumers’ data. Instead of manually running checks to remain compliant, organizations can use solutions to: 

  • Crawl all of their storage repositories (e.g., emails, shared drives, MS Teams, Sharepoint, OpenText Content Server)
  • Create a content  inventory of all of their unstructured data, so you know what you have, what it is, and where it’s located
  • Enrich the metadata of your inventory using business rules to classify and categorize your content, so you can make it more searchable and ensure the correct retention rules are applied to it better manage it
  • Apply business rules to manage your unstructured data, for instance by identifying something as PII and having that file tagged for migration to a more secure repository

Shinydocs Data Discovery offers this capability, enabling organizations to get full visibility into all their files, documents, and media through one platform. We’ll also be at Finovate Spring in San Francisco from May 23 to May 25 talking about how unstructured data management can help deliver a powerful customer experience built on data privacy and consumer trust. You can register for the event here

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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