It’s an understatement to say that data is at the crux of business decision-making today. That’s precisely why so many companies are committed to democratising data across their organisations, and empowering sales, marketing, IT, customer support and other teams, to better understand the wants and needs of customers.
While empowering employees with data to make smarter decisions is a best practice, it does create some challenges from a data governance perspective.
The rise of the data stewards
This explosion of company and customer data, as well as the increase in employees who need access to data to do their jobs better, has made “data stewardship” an important responsibility for organisations today. The data steward isn’t just one person within the organisation, either. Many times data stewards are a combination of IT, compliance and legal, working together to build out policies for data governance and data usage. And while employees across the enterprise now have access to data for smarter decisioning, the average employee doesn’t truly understand the corporate policies and/or legal guidelines around the handling and use of data.
Which is why we’re excited to announce new Data Governance capabilities within Adobe Experience Platform.
Data Governance in Adobe Experience Platform
Here’s how it works: Data stewards (those individuals who manage data governance within their organisations) can apply their companies data usage policies into Adobe Experience Platform. These stewards can classify data using labels available in Adobe Experience Platform. They can mark precise geo-location, for example, as “sensitive information,” and email, first name and last name as “personally identifiable information” (PII), and then set parameters around how each data type (or label) can be used by other employees.
While most companies have likely invested in data labelling to some extent, many may have no method of helping ensure the data is being governed properly at the time of data management and data usage. With Adobe Experience Platform, data stewards can classify, build policies to block data, obfuscate certain data, or even use the classification to delete it for data subject requests.
Data stewards can also pre-define access to certain data based on various roles in the organisation. For example, marketers may have access to data sets that can be used to create audience or customer segments with, while analysts get access to data sets with less sensitive data for analysis. Data scientists, on the other hand, may be granted access to combine and create data sets, while data engineers are given permission to export from the data lake. With Data Governance capabilities within Adobe Experience Platform, data stewards can help ensure that data is used properly, and by the right people.
Adobe Experience Platform customers can use the governance framework functionalities through UI and extend them using API’s to better enforce data usage policies and facilitate the proper use of their data to comply with their regulations, obligations and restrictions. This capability is a first-of-its-kind, that provides end-to-end data usage governance.
There’s a lot at stake
Data represents consumers and consumers expect brands to use their data as the brand has promised and in line with regulations governing the handling and use of data. If a brand fails to properly manage its data, it risks putting the brand reputation at stake and losing the trust of its customers, in addition to the potential legal issues.
Here’s an example: to get that much-coveted single view of the customer, many companies today are trying to bring their customers’ online behavioral data together with the data they already have in their CRM system. The marketing team may use this single view to create segmented audiences, by geography or by frequent buyers. Then they may use these audience segments for various business purposes, such as creating customer content journeys or for ad targeting. However, in each of these activities, the customer needs to be sure that their data is being used properly.
With most of the competing data governance and data labeling technology available today, the data stewards must go into three different user interfaces: one for labeling, another to create policies, and one for enforcement. With Adobe Experience Platform, we’ve combined these separate functions into one cohesive user experience so that it’s a one-stop-shop to better support your company’s data stewards.
To learn more about other enhancements announced for Adobe Experience Platform, click here.