Panel Discusses Importance of Data Management

LAS VEGAS — There’s a rule of thumb that is used to help people de-clutter their lives that says something along the lines of — keep track of the clothes you wear during a certain period of time, and if there are articles of clothing that you have in your closet, but don’t wear during that period of time, then that’s a sign that maybe you should get rid of it.

During a session yesterday at RMA International’s annual conference, the topic of data privacy came up. Labeling it as the “next frontier” in terms of trends and importance for companies in the accounts receivable management industry, the panel discussed how privacy is going to become more prevalent, in the form of new laws and regulations, but also in terms of ensuring that companies are protecting what needs to be protected.

To that end, maybe there is data that companies are keeping, but without a compelling reason to do so. In an attempt to de-clutter their data, Stefanie Jackman from Troutman Pepper proposed three questions that companies should ask about their data:

  • What data do I have?
  • Where is this data housed or stored?
  • Why do I have it?

“Maybe there is data you don’t need,” she said during the discussion. “We all have to keep some stuff, but we don’t have to keep it all. If you have data you’re not doing anything with, maybe you don’t need it at all.”

The amount of data that is being created and stored is growing at astronomical rates today, and that will only accelerate in the future. Building a process for ensuring that you are only keeping what needs to be kept will help you manage your risks better and make it less likely that a data privacy event will occur.

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