Data Compliance and Privacy: How To Get It Right To Thrive

Data has proven its salt in the face of rapid change. It has been steadfast in supporting businesses to digitise operations and enable processes – from the shop floor to customer relations – to continue.

In recent years data has gone from being a commercial advantage to a fundamental operational necessity - whether that’s through accurate information in real-time or the implementation of robust data strategies.

And leaders across the world are noticing. So much so, that two thirds (67%) of leaders agree their business data is vital to future success. Some 52% go so far as to say their organisation just won’t survive without timely and top quality of data.

But today, regulations are changing, and data privacy is becoming increasingly complex.

With half of businesses (50%) admitting they are worried about maintaining data privacy, and a further two-fifths (44%) who fear they will be unable to protect their data in future, it’s time to take control of this uncertainty. Moreover, over half of the study’s respondents (52%) expressed concern that their reliance on data is making them increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Here, we’ll explore Dun & Bradstreet’s privacy and compliance findings from the Future of Data report and share steps that all businesses can take to improve their data management, take advantage of greater data insights and build a robust data strategy.

Regulation is the modern data challenge

New and increased levels of regulation are holding businesses - both big and small - accountable for improper data use at never before seen levels, with potentially crippling fines if regulations are ignored.

Dun & Bradstreet’s data found that half of businesses admit they are concerned about maintaining data privacy in line with new regulations. And for those with fewer resources and employee numbers, meeting these requirements can fall beyond internal capabilities.

The pandemic has proven that access to reliable and timely data is crucial for business survival, but protecting data must be at the forefront of any strategy.

Incorporating a data-first approach to planning – that accounts for any potential vulnerabilities – is fundamental to manage future risks.

Regulations will get stricter, so the sooner businesses start to incorporate data protection into planning the better.

Keep track of the 'why' to future-proof business

Beyond regulation, leaders agree on other barriers that stand between their business and ensuring good data literacy.

More than a quarter (26%) of leaders cite data regulation and legal procedures as a worry, but other concerns include a lack of technical solutions to use data (32%), restricted budgets (31%) and talent access difficulties (27%).

Data strategy planning is key here. It’s important to set out and continually return to the original objective behind any strategy.

When almost half (47%) believe their company is rushing its data strategy, it’s important to step back and remember why it’s being carried out. What is your objective? And do all the next steps align?

Data alone is never the answer, so returning to the bigger picture and understanding how it can help the business run better – in a way that no one else can – is fundamental to creating a robust, future-proof strategy.

Don’t go it alone. Adopt the right attitude

While there are many business advantages, greater data reliance also presents risk. And this is weighing on the minds of leaders as almost half (49%) are anxious about the future ethical use of data.

Despite concerns, organisations still want to do the right thing. As regulations and requirements continue to adapt, businesses must adopt a mindset of continuous improvement.

As businesses mature in their data strategies, extra complexities require a long-term approach – not a tick box exercise.

Turning to a third-party, trusted partner, can enable organisations to focus on their day-to-day business while ensuring their data is compliant and protected at all times – from support with data provenance to consumer permissions and regulations.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents believe that drawing on third-party data could enable their organisation to help current customers and 60% believe it could help win more business.

It’s clear that a robust, data-driven business strategy is fundamental for survival in today’s landscape.

It’s important that businesses remember they are not alone. Support is at hand and can help to empower a business to do its best without the fear of breaching regulations.

Taking steps to ensure that business data is protected and utilised to its fullest capacity will determine successful businesses and leaders in the years ahead – those that are willing and ready to listen, learn, and collaborate in an increasingly complex environment.


To dive further into the power of business data across Europe and find out how to get the right data to help your business thrive, you can read the full report here.