Ethical Data Strategy

These days, most organisations unwittingly generate huge volumes of data that they’ll often never even look at. This is a risk to individual privacy, to climate sustainability, and – if the worst happens and you’re involved in a major data breach – to your organisation’s reputational risk, coupled with potentially crippling fines from regulators.

At the same time, good quality data can be an essential business tool, and a driver for better-quality decision making. High-quality data is only growing in importance as AI and data science techniques become more widely accessible.

Does your organisation need help navigating this evolving landscape?

What is a data strategy?

A data strategy captures all the key principles of your data management.

  • What must be kept, versus what needs deleting (and when)
  • What permission you need to request from individuals, if you want to store and use personal data
  • What privacy and security controls are required for different categories of data
  • Which information needs to be regularly updated, and how you’re going to ensure that it is
  • Who should have access to what, how you keep track of accesses granted, and when to revoke them

Some decisions will be guided by legal necessity, such as the requirement to keep business records for a certain period. Others will be influenced by your organisation’s unique goals, values, and corporate risk appetite. We can work with you to separate out which is which, guide you through the choices you need to make, and help you to get it all down in writing.

Strategies need to be backed up by solid policies and processes, which we can also develop in partnership with you if required.

Who is it for?

Data strategies can look very different for different organisations. Small charities may want a very simple strategy to guide trustees and avoid legal trouble. Startups can benefit from defining an initial strategy for their data, before they can quite afford to hire a full-time CDO. Meanwhile, many large and multinational organisations are struggling under the weight of multiple legacy systems and an incoherent strategy – or even multiple competing strategies! We will start from wherever you are, and help you get to a place that is simple, clear, and consistent.

You might need this if:

  • Your business is starting to outgrow the stage where one founder “just knows” where everything is.
  • You’ve been through a merger or acquisition, and want to develop a coherent approach across previously separate organisations.
  • You have a cookie-cutter strategy or policy in place, but it doesn’t take into account the things which are unique to your organisation.
  • You’re not sure how to relate your current strategy to emerging developments, such as use of AI tools.
  • People don’t seem to be following the strategy that’s in place, and you don’t understand why.

This isn’t for you if:

  • Your business already has an effective strategy in place, and it’s working.
  • You can confidently articulate what data you collect, and why; where it’s stored; and how it’s protected.
  • Different teams or divisions within your organisation have a coherent approach, and it’s easy for someone to switch teams.
  • You have no idea what data your business holds, or where it’s stored – start with a data audit, which is more hands-on.

What makes us different?

Complexical takes a holistic, big-picture approach to your data management, incorporating individual privacy, environmental concerns, and regulatory requirements alongside a deep understanding of what makes data effective for business analysis. We think being ethical about the use of data is fundamental, not an optional add-on, and we will help you to separate what you can do, from what you should.

We can identify the truly meaningful data points that underpin your organisational strategy, and work out what you really need, versus what you’re hoarding out of habit.

We focus on the whole sociotechnical system, looking at how easy processes are to follow, as well as whether they achieve the intended goals. We ensure strategies are framed in plain English, not full of technical jargon.

We will look at what’s really important to your business, with an independent approach, and without trying to up-sell you unnecessary software packages or subscriptions to services.

Scroll to Top