Why Aren’t Organizations More Successful With Data Privacy?

If you struggle with data privacy, you are not alone. Most of us spend quite a bit of our time on the Internet, which, by its very nature, is quite open. When we are on it, or in it, we are no longer private. If we try to allow privacy, or some level of privacy, it is quite hard to pull the privacy back for data already out in the open. Therefore, if an organization has data privacy as a strong objective, it needs to have that thought in mind in the early planning stages and make it an organization-wide cultural aspect and objective from the beginning; otherwise, it won’t reach that goal very quickly.

ChatGPT started many discussions lately, privacy being one of them. People are amazed at what it pulls into its answers. Where did this data come from, how did ChatGPT know that, and how can I opt out are many of the questions that come out of the discussions. Try it on yourself: just Google your name and put in some qualifiers to really find you (and not people with a similar name). If you are like most of us, you will be shocked, saddened, and possibly appalled to see how much someone could learn about you publicly out on the web. Sites that required you to supply information most likely made little attempt to keep your data private, and some made no attempt to even consider your privacy. And possibly worse, some sold your data as soon as they obtained it. ChatGPT is merely the latest tool to illustrate that data privacy has not been a priority for most software tool makers. Welcome to the Internet.

However, when filtered by industry, geographical location, and organization size and age, our data show many business segments do better with data privacy than others. Furthermore, the higher or more strategic the role in an organization, the more likely respondents achieve the highest level of success with data privacy. This dynamic is important since ensuring data privacy requires support from top leadership.

For data privacy to become a strong objective, organizations need to embed it, by default, in every system and business process. Users need to know that and be involved in the data governance process by opting in or out for each set of data captured in organizational systems.

Since success with data privacy and BI success correlate highly, organizations that want to improve the success of their BI initiatives also should focus on increasing their level of success with data privacy, as defined by the true “owners” of the data in their systems.

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