What is a data audit?
Data audits help you to understand the data you hold. It can be the first step towards developing a comprehensive data strategy, or a goal in its own right to make sure you’re compliant with essential regulations.
Just like decluttering at home, keeping your digital house in order is easier if you start by dedicating a chunk of time to understanding exactly what you’ve got, where it is, and whether you want (or need) to keep it. While business records may seldom “spark joy,” you can sleep easier at night knowing everything is safely in order.
Data audits can help you to:
- Understand the data you hold, where it is stored, and what it can tell you
- Identify key questions you’re not currently able to answer – and how to fix that
- Make sure you’re compliant with key regulations like GDPR, for example ensuring personal data is stored securely, and that you can conduct a subject access request in a reasonable time frame
- Implement appropriate security and resilience by ensuring you have the right data access controls, security systems, and backups in place
- Declutter your digital estate by throwing away the data you don’t need, and organising the rest
- Save time for yourself and your team by eliminating duplicated and out-of-date information, and ensuring everyone knows what’s where
- Reduce energy consumption by deleting ‘dark data’ that’s stored unnecessarily
Who is it for?
Data audits can be valuable for any size of organisation that has outgrown its current processes, and often points the way towards more sustainable practices. Large organisations often need to grapple with legacy systems, complex data, and different teams doing things differently. Smaller companies can benefit from getting repeatable processes in place before things get out of hand.
You might need this if:
- You feel overwhelmed when you even start to think about mapping out the data in your business.
- You use several different tools which are collecting data in the background, but you’re not sure what’s being stored where.
- You have files scattered across personal computers, cloud storage providers, email inboxes, databases, and third party tools.
- You want to get to grips with your most important business questions, and you’re not sure if you already have the data you need to find the answers.
- You think you have a data strategy in place, but it doesn’t seem to be working to reduce the chaos.
This isn’t for you if:
- You already know exactly where all your data is stored and where it’s come from, and you make sure it’s kept up to date.
- You have a Chief Data Officer who’s completely on top of things, and they’re not getting stressed out by their role.
- You confidently answer all your key business questions, using accurate and up-to-date data.
- You have a clear data strategy, backed up by clear processes, and people follow them.
We can help you to understand the current data landscape within your organisation, and make a simple plan for improving things.
Whether you have aspirations for advanced, AI-driven data analytics, or you just want to simplify and keep things in order, we can help.
We aren’t tied to any particular providers of software or services, so we can give you an independent view on the tools and techniques which may help you take your next step forward.