If I’m having a tough week, I might feel sorry for myself for a minute or two. But to snap myself out of it, all I have to do is think of the data managers. Those folks have to contend with duplicate records, bad information, data proliferation, accountability, permissions, privacy, security, hackers ... it’s a near-constant stream of headaches. And the constantly evolving nature of technology means the work is never done.
Today, two new pressures are converging to make the headaches approach migraine level. But fortunately, SAS can make the pain go away. Let’s look at the two pressures in turn.
Technology marches on
As technology revolutionizes what we can do with data and analytics, the techniques we use to store, organize and manage that data must modernize as well. Look at it this way: In the early days of analytics, all we had to do was store dumb data (zeros and ones) and then read it. But with the onslaught of data from the Internet of Things, the real value is not in raw data but in enriched data (data with the analytics applied up front). But identifying what’s truly valuable doesn’t just happen. Data managers must be highly intentional as they develop a strategy for what to store and what not to store, and how to analyze it.
But that’s not all. Another headache is coming, and it’s a big one.
The European Union is serious about data privacy, and they’ve doubled down with a new law that raises the stakes for data managers. It’s called the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and it gives every EU resident the right to know how their personal data is being used – and the right to have their data completely erased upon demand. Violators can be fined up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of their annual global revenue (whichever is higher). The law is already in effect. May 2018 is the deadline to comply, but the EU will have to ability to retroactively fine organizations.
Now, if you aren’t based in Europe, you may think this doesn't apply to you. But the GDPR doesn’t just affect EU member states; it affects all those who trade with the EU. Any US company doing business with a European company needs to know exactly what data they’re ingesting, where it’s going, and how it’s protected from hackers. Get it wrong, and you can jeopardize your company’s finances, its brand, and maybe even its existence.
Talk about headaches. If you’re accountable for data management and governance, you need a complete view of the lineage of your data, and you need it to be audit-proof. But privacy legislation is still developing, and the grey areas are numerous. How do you aim for a moving target?
SAS can help
Data management has been the lifeblood of SAS for 40 years. Early on, we developed the ability to connect to any source of data anywhere, and data management remains one of our biggest strengths. We came to market quickly with an end-to-end solution to address the legislation. It gives you a unified view of how your data is handled, no matter where that data resides. And that makes compliance a whole lot easier.
Technology and society are always changing the way we handle and store data, so the data manager’s job is never done. I encourage my friends in data management to stay up to date and to lean on SAS for help with the headaches. We can be your pain reliever.