You probably heard it before... when working in the Market Research Industry you are frequently confronted with questions like "Can you send me the dataset?". Though this seems to be such a valid and logical question, it also gives you an insight into the typical issues in market research businesses.
This question means that you have to generate a dataset snapshot of a running project. This snapshot is then distributed, and as of that moment, any change in the source of the snapshot (like newly completed interviews, or codings) will not be in the included. This has massive implications on the internal processes of your market research organization, but I talked about it in our previous post.
Once your snapshot is "in the wild", given the project is still running, you will probably need to create the snapshot over and over again. With each new snapshot invalidation the previous one. While the last snapshot already held much of the data of your new snapshot, the old one has no value anymore. Most of the time, these snapshots are made daily and are distributed to multiple people. So on a 10-day project with 5 people wanting the results, you will have 50 files distributed over multiple machines at the end of the project. All this with privacy-sensitive data of respondents. These are 50 unattended security risks that can not be tracked.
We know what an important role privacy and security have in your industry, so as a default feature you can password-protect any data that is sent out. This helps, but still, there is a chance your file will end up in the wrong hands. Those hands have all the time necessary to crack the password. And still, you would not get to know about it.
In the example above, you bring the data to the tool or user. There is a better solution:
What if you turn that around and let the tool or user access the centrally stored data? In that case, you distribute access rights, you can log who accesses data and when, and you can instantly revoke access rights. The typical data analysis tools like SPSS or Excel allow connecting to a database that has the data stored across a local network or the internet. Taking this approach will guarantee you that there are no old dataset exports floating around in mailboxes anymore and everyone who works with the data is always using the most recent data available.
This better solution is called Nebu Data Hub. It will give you control over your privacy sensitive data. In my next blog, I will tell you about the other benefits it has. Request a call and take your first Big Data steps.
Photo by Perspecsys Photos with Creative Commons license.
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