94% of the customers say they will be loyal to a company that is transparent with them. Management’s transparency has high correlation with employee happiness. If you’re thinking of data protection as a regulatory chore, allow us to change your mind.

The unanticipated growth of social media means that all organizations, government or not, can be brought under public scrutiny. The numerous data infringement incidents and the outcry following them have made the industry think about ways in which they are handling their data – data about their customers, employees and internal management.

Although companies are aware of the need for data governance, only a few of them have a structured data governance program. Even amongst those with data governance programs, the ones that are transparent with both their business users and customers are significantly lesser in number.

However, this cannot continue for long. Since the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into being last month, companies are required to make their processes transparent to meet compliance requirements.

What is transparency?

In its simplest form, transparency in a business is being accountable, open and honest to all the stakeholders.

What does GDPR say about transparency?

Article 5 of GDPR states that processing of all data needs to be based on lawfulness, fairness and transparency. The regulations in EU go a bit further to insist that data protection applies not only to collection of data but throughout the lifecycle of processing.  

In summary, GDPR necessitates the following:

  • Fairness in processing of personal data.
  • Quality, accessibility and comprehensibility of the data management policies.
  • Enable users to exercise to control over their data.
  • Efficient and succinct documentation to avoid information fatigue.

While these — and other requirements of the GDPR — might sound like compliance chore to most organizations, we must pause a moment to consider that this also makes perfect business sense.

Better customer engagement

Transparency with regards to customer data – making them aware of risks, rules, safeguards and rights about processing of their information —will help companies offer better customer service, leading to better customer engagement and trust.

Informed decision-making

Business usually rely on data to take decisions and bad data can result in bad decisions. Transparency in data will help businesses set a threshold for data quality – ensuring that the data that informed the decision is solid.

Building trust with data

An organization scrupulous enough to be compliant to GDPR will be aware of rules, rights, risks and safeguards regarding the data they process. This will make business users comfortable and data usage convenient, in turn building trust on the data and the company.

As a natural extension, data transparency will also enable predictability. If the system is transparent, output will be predictable from the input, further building trust among employees.

Companies usually spend a majority of their resources on their IT. Ensuring transparency in asset management will help business gain trust in IT.

Improved employee productivity

Transparency in operations helps companies to streamline their processes, simplify workflows and increase productivity. Boosting employee morale is an unintended bonus!

As you’ve seen, GDPR compliance is not necessarily a pain to the business. It can, in fact, be an opportunity to improve the data quality standards of your organization, engage better with customers, empower teams with intelligence and build a sustainable business in the Internet age.

Do you have a data governance program that helps your company align with the GDPR? Find out about I&I’s business aligned GDPR-compliant Data Governance Program here.

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