The data is well known for being one of the most valuable assets of companies. However, this does not keep you safe from the risk of devaluation. Like the currency, the data is in constant change and evolution, exposed to a constant appearance of new forms. Either digitally or verbally, every time we create a new channel, a new type of data is born.
As technology advances, the reading of old data becomes increasingly complex and the processes that use it slow down. In the end, the situation of absolute obsolence of these data and the reduction of the efforts destined to its management is reached. Once these data are no longer useful and disappear from the day to day of the companies, they are renamed dark data. These obsolete data become a risk factor for organizations that continue to use them. In order to overcome this obstacle, financial companies must use a strategic approach aimed at data management and strongly support the use of the most appropriate technological resources for this.
The dark era of financial data
Since the appearance of the first banks, these entities have constantly used the data to improve and optimize the experience of their customers. A great path has been taken in terms of obtaining personal information, including the first paper documents, credit and purchase histories, and the telematic data reports increasingly used by insurance companies.
As financial institutions have evolved and developed their activity, the oldest data have seen their strategic and business value decrease, that is, they have been transformed into dark data. Thanks to unlimited cloud storage systems, digital data has become the preferred option due to its greater ease of use and management, unlocking the data on paper. Inevitably, the information stored on physical media has become archived and, ultimately, lost.
Financial companies are especially vulnerable. As smart contracts and transactions via blockchain They grow in popularity, old data drastically lose their value and relevance. It should be said that the excessive level of regulation in this sector is in some way responsible for having created a reluctant behavior to erase information. With data protection regulations, such as the current GDPR, users are willing to take legal action against irresponsible business practices in the financial sector rather than in other markets; making of dark data a time trial pump for data security and the companies that own it.
How to bury the data
To end the problem of dark data, companies must stop both this data and its channel. Ultimately, the appearance of this problem is the result of a vague and little rigorous data management strategy. In addition, it is not a new phenomenon of our day, but it is a problem that has existed throughout the development process of the financial sector.
That is, the appearance and imminent proliferation of dark data It does not originate in negligent actions, but in the complexity of highly fragmented information management structures. Numerous studies show that employees in the sector are accustomed to working with an excessive number of channels and data management tools, as well as with a lack of strategy and resources to back-up. What is the best way to manage this data?
Creating a data management strategy
As data is more isolated and distributed, the more difficult its location, management and protection becomes. It is in this way as the dark data It becomes a risk for companies. The first step to end this threat is the formulation of appropriate data management strategies that integrate old and new data. At the same time, the belief that everything needs to be saved must end. Instead, you should bet on the use of new tools and platforms capable of automatically locating, classifying and managing data hosted in multiple environments.
Introducing and reinforcing data management policies
Data management policies should be implemented and promoted from the highest levels of companies to their bases. This implies that the entire template understands the process of entering data, its formats and how they should be stored. Equally important is to ensure that these parameters are not too rigid and favor the creation of flexible models. As already mentioned, the data is constantly changing, so its standards must be able to adapt to the new features. Employees must have some freedom of action, as long as it is consistent with the overall objectives.
Using the right technology
Another of the obligations of financial companies is the use of the most appropriate technologies for data management in order to guarantee maximum efficiency and security in all processes. The use of a single integrated platform enables the use of intelligent automation software, facilitating and speeding up the task of locating the data. Thanks to this, not only the probability of generating is drastically reduced dark data, but you get a strategic advantage and the ability to make business decisions faster and more efficiently.
The problem of dark data It not only affects traditional companies. New companies should also worry and prevent themselves from this threat. Perhaps today, the most disruptive companies are in a situation of advantage over their competitors who follow older models, but are also exposed to the passage of time and the depreciation of the data.
José Manuel Petisco is general manager for Veritas Technologies Iberia