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3 Best Practices for Data Quality That Impact Data Compliance

Beyond being a proven best practice for high-performance marketing campaigns, collecting and maintaining high-quality data is also a legal requirement for companies that wish to comply with data privacy laws. Research giant, Gartner, just released its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2024, and not surprisingly, two of the 10 are focused on the role that quality data plays in helping companies stay compliant with state, federal and international regulations that govern data collection, storage and usage. Of course, data breaches are every corporate executive’s nightmare and data privacy concerns are the vigil of every information manager, who wants customers to continue to trust their company with said information. In today’s blog we’ll look at the powerful ways data quality practices can help your company stay compliant.

#1 — Start at the Source and Collect Consensual Data

Data privacy laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, all require that the data you collect is data that you received permission to get. In addition to collecting and processing data with explicit consent, each recipient’s consent should be recorded and stored, as it protects you, too. Maintaining records of consent enables you to prove, if need be, that you are not a spammer, but have complied with all regulations by ensuring that the people you market to actually signed up for the communications you are sending.

Every Form. Every Message. Every Time.

Obviously, all forms you use to collect customer and prospect information should include wording to the effect that submitting information is consent to contact that person in the future. In addition, all messages you send, from SMS and MMS, to emails and beyond, need to include the option to opt-out from future communications. Finally, all data compliance laws include in their regulations a person’s rights to correct or delete their data, which means you need to provide secure access to individual account data so that people may correct or delete their data at will.

Sureshot Best Practices: We are big believers in the power of personalized messaging, which requires current customer contact information. To help your contacts help you maintain accurate records, automate the process of correcting and auto-filling forms. Additionally, leverage automated data updates to ensure that once a customer inputs new information, that update immediately replaces all instances of their information in every data source in which it is stored.  

#2 — Secure Access to Data and Track Its Moves

The term, Data in Motion, refers to data that is in the process of being transferred between locations over a private network or the Internet. As you may have already guessed, data is most vulnerable to corruption (becoming dirty data) and exposure to unauthorized access (breaches) while it is being transmitted from one source to another. Having solid data governance and security practices in place is critical to your ability to protect your data from ongoing threats. Security measures that help you protect data in motion include being able to control access to your data and monitoring its journey as it moves through your marketing technology ecosystem and enterprise.

Continuous Threat Exposure Management 
In the Gartner report we mentioned earlier, they predicted that by 2026, companies that invest in security measures based on a Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) program will realize a two-thirds reduction in the risk of breaches. So just what is a CTEM program? It’s a continuous, practical and systemic approach (read: automated) to evaluating the accessibility, exposure and exploitability of your company’s digital and physical assets (data).

Sureshot Best Practices: We believe that intelligent integrations are an essential part of helping protect your data while it is in motion. When your tech is in synch, and connected through integrations that automate how data is received, shared, stored and used throughout your enterprise—it gives you exceptional control over the state of your data. This, in turn, helps you ensure that your data maintains its integrity throughout its journey across every connected data source in your ecosystem.

#3 — Be Transparent. Be Accountable. Document Everything.

Trust and transparency are two halves of the same coin. You can’t build trust with customers unless you are transparent about what you are doing with their information. This can be as simple as saying, “We will never sell or share your data with anyone.” Or you can be even more open by saying something along the lines of, “We collect your data so that we can provide a tailor-made experience for you. Understanding your preferences helps us provide more of the content you want and less of the content you don’t.”

Account for All Your Data Processes

In addition to being transparent, compliance with data privacy laws often involves demonstrating corporate accountability. To that end, it’s a wise practice to keep detailed records of your marketing ops team’s data processes. Essentially, you want to note how your team measures, maintains and monitors data quality. Keeping track of data processing via reports is not only helpful for compliance, but it’s also necessary for demonstrating good data governance.

Sureshot Best Practices: We believe that a good marketing ops dashboard should be a key part of every smart marketer’s data security strategy. This centralized window into your data’s world gives you the ability to view, monitor and report on your data’s quality across all connected sources throughout your enterprise. More importantly, it enables you to be accountable to your customers and company leaders, as well as all the officials who set and enforce the rules and regulations that concern data security and compliance.

Bonus Best Practice: Contact Sureshot

We have a team of experts and a portfolio of data solutions that can help you establish and maintain data quality, security and compliance. If you are ready to harness the power better data can bring to your marketing strategy and initiatives, contact us, or start by taking our FREE Martech Assessment.