In a previous post I wrote about the need for business units to come together. One of the profits I named was the advantage of a single database. But one database for all business units does not just help optimize workflows and customer’s experiences. It’s also the best way to ensure that sensitive data is in good hands.

GDPR: fractured data sources won’t cut it

You might have heard of the General Data Protection Regulation that will be enforced by May 2018. It is already effective but will be fully enforced by May 2018, including fines up to 20,000,000€ or 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year. You can read up on all regulations here.

Under these regulations, customers and users have specific rights to access, edit and delete their data. They can and should be able to:

  • delete their data at any time (or have it deleted)
  • correct and edit data at any time
  • access any of their personal data saved by companies
  • limit the processing and use of their personal data

Imagine a company who gets asked by a customer to provide all data they have on him, who divides their data between (isolated) CRM, Marketing Automation and logistical systems and even in different data formats.

It’s nearly impossible to get all the information and furthermore combine and provide it in one single format without an insurmountable amount of work.

If the customer has been a paying customer, had service issues and additionally took part in a questionnaire designed by the marketing team to win a voucher. His data will be divided in different silos across different business units. It therefore will be increasingly difficult to not only identify all data but also deliver it to him in a simple form or file.

A single central data base helps with all processes

One database for all personal data helps not only to ensure a seamless customer journey and more efficiency for workflows. It also helps collect, identify and structure sensitive data. Furthermore, it gives a better overview on data that needs to be handled with specific care and under specific regulations. Because one data base usually also means a standardized data format, clear categories, tags and structures and a simple way to search all data for one contact, one business interaction or one customer group.

Ironically, a single database with clear categorizations that supplies all information to all business units is also better at delivering a superior customer experience. Additionally, it assures the transparency of how the data can be used, the protection of the data and the insights. Data security therefore doesn’t hinder digitalization efforts but strengthens them.