Although big data can turn around a company’s fortunes, there is a need to use data responsibly. This can only be attained by introducing and following ethical standards. Big data is crucial in making critical decisions, but the customer needs must always come first. In whatever an organization does, they must never forget that the consumer is wise and understands the importance of the personal data they want to be used judiciously to serve their interests and needs instead of using it for other reasons. This can only be achieved by enforcing the right ethical thresholds.
Here are some ways you can incorporate ethics to ensure a responsible big data environment in your organization:
Although some actions regarding the use of customer data may appear obvious, inform the owner and prospects wherever you are gathering or using their personal data. This is important but is not enough. In addition to telling people their data is being collected for a particular reason, tell them what information and explain how it will be used positively. Ensure that the owners of data understand the consequences and accept them before proceeding.
- Be transparent
Customers expect transparency in operations and all activities that a company performs. This is the only way you can build trust between the customers and your organization. Without transparency, businesses and customers would all be in the dark since customers will be skeptical about giving their personal data. This would not only impact customer service but will also damage the brand. Make your communications transparent and ensure that your customers know the use of their data. In case you are sharing data with a third party, let them know so that they can decide whether to opt out or not.
- Privacy and protection
In the age of sophisticated cyber-attacks like today, clients want to know how their personal data will remain private and see how you will protect it. Ensure privacy by enforcing protection methods that eliminate potential data breaches and gives the customers the safety they need. If a data breach occurs, notify the affected parties immediately. Give them protective measures that they should undertake to ensure similar events do not affect them further. Demonstrate your ability to guard customer data and keep private information safe all the time.
- Lay down rules and respect those in place
Any company has millions of potential companies to please. As such, you must remain objective at all times while also ensuring your doors are open for change. You can only achieve this by laying down rules and following local and international laws concerning data collection, use, and protection. The key examples of regulations that must be respected are the EU-US Privacy Shield and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. Just like the way you stick to rules within your organization, ensure that you follow regulations within your country and beyond if you are to succeed in your big data initiatives.
In summary, the issue of responsibility in your big data strategy begins with integrating the concept of ethics among all stakeholders in your organization. This includes employees, business owners, and customers. Once you have a culture of responsible use of data, you will move into the future, where data is crucial in decision-making.