How to boost your data integrity in 7 steps
When it comes to data, it is one thing to have it at hand and easily accessible, but quite another to trust it and drive conclusions from it.
Data integrity means you can trust your data (either of production, sales or product) to be genuine, valid, and accurate. Not only when you need it and use it, but throughout its lifecycle, from the moment it was generated onwards.
It is not always possible (nor easy) to prove the data hasn’t been changed or corrupted in the process. If all you have is a file or a list of data details sent by your colleague to your inbox, how do you know it represents what you’re looking for and that it is indeed true? If you can’t be sure about it, how can your partners and clients be?
Why should you ensure data integrity?
When your data is not 100% reliable, you can’t use it to make decisions, to improve the production process or to back up your sales efforts. Even worse, your company could come under scrutiny by regulators and even lose partnerships because the data it provides can’t be proven genuine and accurate.
To avoid issues, fines, delays and wasted resources that come with unreliable information, here are seven ways to improve the integrity of your in-house data.
The 7 steps:
- Data validation
Before moving it around, using or sharing it, data should be checked for accuracy and quality. The inconsistencies in type, format or context could corrupt its quality and validity. To have data bring value to your processes, make sure it’s consistent, complete, and accurate.
- Solid back-up
With multiple data centers and silos, the risk of unwanted access to your information is much higher. While it’s impossible to deprive departments of local data storage, it’s essential to implement a rigorous data security system to prevent ransomware attacks and data loss.
- Regular clean-up
Often, the same data entry is found in multiple departments, and merging data storage means lots of duplicate data – this could complicate your database and increase the risk of data leakage or unwanted entry points. To prevent cluttering, clean up your data and make it coherent.
- Review permissions and accessibility
Data is one of your company’s strongest assets, and not everyone should have access to (all of) it. On the other hand, broad and open access to data does not jeopardize its integrity, especially when sufficient protection is in place. Just make sure you can monitor who has access to what data and what kind of permissions come with it.
- Data protection
There are several ways of protecting your data as it is, and one of the most advanced and unhackable is the blockchain technology, as used in the Authtrail Data Verify. Once data entry is inscribed on a data block, it is cryptographically sealed, which prevents unauthorized access and leakage.
- Tracking changes
The blockchain technology also prevents data entries from being altered without noticing as every change or update is recorded and linked to its origin. This means that every data inscription, update and transaction is time-stamped, trackable through time and traceable to its origin.
- Shareable integrity
If you want to demonstrate the quality of your process and products to clients and partners, they should get equally reliable data. During transfer and sharing, data integrity could easily be compromised. However, with the Authtrail Public Explorer, your trusted data becomes accessible by a third party while retaining the same level of quality and integrity.
Data integrity = trust = more business
The management of data itself could be a daunting task, not to mention controlling its authenticity and validity. But this should not be an excuse for negligence, as unreliable data could cost you both resources and reputation.
The Authtrail modular smart data management provides data integrity by design. Request demo Authtrail and see why the quality of data is a game-changer for your business.