Blog: Data Sharing Best Practices for Businesses
Unless your organization is operating in a completely new market, the chances are that there will already be a series of ‘best practices’ that your business can follow in order to see optimal results. However, when it comes to the best practices for data sharing, there is little guidance on what your company should do in order to be successful.
Over the course of this article, we will be highlighting three vital data sharing best practices you should follow, and explaining why having a data sharing policy in today’s market is more important than ever.
We’ll also examine why data sharing is so intrinsic to the success of a business, and analyze why failing to adhere to data sharing protocols can make or break your organization.
Why it’s important to have a data sharing policy?
Data is a powerful commodity that in the right hands, can be the difference between your organization’s success or its failure. However, simply collecting, storing, and sharing data shouldn’t be viewed as a golden ticket for success. The real prize is in the understanding of the data. When gathering or sharing any data it’s vital to truly understand the data that is being presented to you. As such, data literacy goes hand-in-hand with data sharing as it’s essential to understand the context of the data that you wish to share.
It’s important to carefully balance the scales between external and internal data sharing, as well as following data sharing protocols. You should also encourage employees to be mindful of what data they share, and who they share it with.
Creating a data-sharing policy will help employees understand what data should be shared either internally or externally. In addition, a great data-sharing policy will also provide guidance on security measures that must be followed in order to facilitate the safe sharing of data.
It’s important to understand, however, that not all members of your organization will have the same level of knowledge surrounding data and data sharing. For example, a receptionist in your head office might know some basics regarding data sharing but will typically lack the advanced knowledge of a Chief Technical Officer or cybersecurity specialist. Therefore, when creating a data sharing policy for internal use, it would be wise to design multiple versions depending on the target audience’s level of expertise and data literacy.
Data sharing best practices
As mentioned above, data sharing plays a vital part in the development of any business. Whether your organization is looking to enter an undiscovered market or is aiming to revolutionize within an existing industry, the careful sharing of data can help facilitate and realize these ambitions.
However, while data sharing is generally encouraged it’s important to be mindful of what data you share. When sharing data you must ensure that you or your employees don’t overshare information with competitors. Additionally, you should also be wary of the rules around privacy regulations. To help make the debate of what should and shouldn’t be shared simpler, we have created three data-sharing best practices for you to follow below.
1. Putting security first
Data breaches are an unfortunately common occurrence – and as such, the importance of cybersecurity, particularly when sharing sensitive personal or company data, cannot be underestimated.
Depending on what data has been accessed by malicious third parties it could have serious ramifications for your organization. Consequences for data breaches and the importer handling of sensitive data can range from fines to imprisonment and/or the termination of contracts with other businesses that you may work in partnership with.
Given the extreme consequences of data breaches, cybersecurity should be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to both the handling and the sharing of data. Cloud-based business intelligence solutions offer a more secure way to manage sensitive data compared to on-premise or in-house alternatives.
2. Building a culture of openness
As highlighted in our previous article on building a data-sharing culture, creating a culture of openness is not something that will miraculously occur overnight.
Building a culture of openness takes significant time and effort from both management and employees at ground level. Often, creating a culture of openness will only be fully realized once the incentives and benefits of doing so are showcased to your employees.
When it comes to data-sharing, openness and transparency are key factors. Many industry-leading collaborations come from improving the diversity of your data. Great collaboration projects and partnerships cannot be achieved without a culture of openness, therefore.
3. Championing data literacy
Data literacy refers to the ability to read, understand and use data to communicate. Depending on the nature of your business, not all employees within your organization will be sufficiently data literate to communicate at the highest level, yet data literacy is something that all businesses – regardless of their industry, should be championing.
In order to successfully teach and promote data literacy within your organization, it is again important to understand the roles of each employee and identify the ways in which data literacy can improve their ability to do their current role, or future roles in their career.
Once you have explained the reasons why data literacy is important and relevant to their position, you should look at fun and engaging ways to upskill your employees while teaching them vital data literacy skills such as identifying data sources and key terms that are relevant to your organization.
Access leading analytics solutions with Astrato
As highlighted above, nurturing data literacy in your organization is key to unlocking the true benefits of data sharing. Try Astrato today and see how we can help you to strengthen your data-sharing culture with our cloud-based analytics solution. Book a demo with us to find out more.