Big Data: Friend or Foe?

It seems like all we’ve heard about for the last couple of years is data. Big data. The right data. The benefits of data.

When the right data is isolated, it can be a great resource for lenders, banks and financial services institutions to ensure your marketing and sales efforts are targeted, on-point and effective. However, with data comes an element of risk, particularly when you start to put it to use.

Recent data breaches are making headlines and it will likely be years until we realize the full impact of these breaches. This is causing even more scrutiny around data, how it is used and how it is protected. The first set of laws deals with how the data was obtained and who it is being shared with. The second deals with protecting the private data of your clients.

How to Make the Most of Your Organization’s Data

To fully leverage the data available to your organization, you first have to understand the regulations concerning the collection and use of data. Then put into place the right policies and procedures to protect this data – from the top of the company all the way down to every individual who is going to be working with this data.

Once your organization has a firm grasp on the regulations, how you are affected by them and you have data protection policies and procedures in place, you need to focus on training. Data protection cannot be the sole responsibility of just one person in your organization.

Making Sure Your Data Survives an Audit

The regulators need to be able to trust that you have the right policies and procedures in place, and that you are implementing them. Of course, things will happen, things will go wrong – but, the regulators want to trust that when it does, you are going to find it and you are going to take corrective action.

The opportunities and risks associated with big data are – big. In order to make the most of your data, it is critical to understand the regulations, put policies and procedures in place, thoroughly train your employees who are involved with this data and document your training plan. The opportunities with data are too big to miss out on, but it is critical to be prepared and have a plan in place.