The Importance of Data Audits

As data becomes central to the operation of a modern business, the need for data audits has never been greater. Especially when dipping your toes into anything Artificial Intelligence (AI) related.

You’ve not only got the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposing strict laws on organisations concerning their data, but also things like prediction models disguised as hidden landmines, resulting in significant losses. 

It’s why data audits are essential to any successful data-driven organisation.

They ensure both quality and accuracy in data analytics. Including operational improvements. With it, they give organisations the power to make better-informed decisions, while driving efficiency and effectiveness. Doesn’t sound too bad.

So what is a data audit and why should you audit your data?

What Is Data Auditing?

A data audit is an independent assessment of an organisation’s data and data management practices. The purpose of doing one is to ensure that data is accurate, complete, and compliant with all of the relevant laws and regulations that are in place.

Similar to a quality control check on an assembly line. Just as an inspector checks each product to ensure that it meets the required standards; a data auditor checks each dataset to ensure that it is accurate and compliant.

Which becomes essential to businesses that rely on data to make decisions and aim to harness the power of AI. Especially at a time when every business has a reliance on customer and employee data to make better decisions.

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Data audits can also help organisations to identify potential operational improvements by assessing the quality and utility of your data for a specific purpose.

Plus, maintaining good records will help you make smarter decisions on your business’s future course plans, with less time wasted and prevention of issues before they arise!

Why Is It Important to Audit Your Data?

By doing a data audit, organisations can learn where their information comes from, as well as gain insight into the quality, security and usage rates for operations or analytics purposes.

Egnyte lists the importance of data audits with three “key data auditing functions”:

Data Quality

It’s important to have accurate data in order for an organisation to run smoothly.

But what happens when your numbers don’t match up? The answer lies with auditing, which identifies inaccurate or missing information and its root causes so that these problems can be remedied quickly before they manifest into more serious issues. Other than the minor discrepancies between expected values & actual results.

The audit reports help you to fix any errors in your data set and storage rules, thus improving its overall quality and integrity.

Regulatory Compliance

Auditing data helps organisations stay in compliance with corporate, industry and government regulations by providing deep visibility into the location of their assets, as well as how they’re being used.

The new General Data Protection Regulation has increased the importance of data audits to ensure compliance with their GDPR requirements. Infringements can result in either suspension or interruption, and even fines as high as £17.5 million, or 4% of annual global turnover. So it’s crucial that you stay up-to-date on all changes.

Improve Operations

The data auditing process ensures that the information being processed can be trusted and used effectively. 

Data quality improves operations, making them run more smoothly with an improved outcome for customers or employees alike.

Performance audits and operational reviews identify opportunities for improving efficiency in order to increase the quality of service you provide your customers. These results also show where there are areas that could turn to a positive cash flow.

Don’t Delay & Get Your Data Audit 

Data auditing is an essential tool for any company to use. 

It can help prevent the negative impacts of poor data quality and security, which may echo throughout your organisation’s entire workflow process if not addressed properly.

Data audit processes identify both known errors, as well as potential risks before they become serious problems that could have severe consequences. Nobody enjoys lost customers or business partners. Nor any disgruntled staff members whose personal details might be compromised. 

Rather be on the safe side and have an easy mind where your data is concerned.

(Speaking of data: If your data is a mess; siloed, scattered and serving the wrong purpose, then we’ve got something for you!)

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