In the business world, organizations have to create and maintain data on various platforms to ensure accuracy. Most companies handle data regularly by storing and sharing it digitally — and sending the stored information from databases. In fact, 44% of firms share data continuously. However, this can lead to mistakes, negatively impacting the organization. Yet, companies can prevent and resolve these issues quickly by maintaining data properly. Here’s your guide to data integrity.
What Is Data Integrity?
Data integrity is the maintenance of data, ensuring it’s accurate, consistent, and complete. Organizations must have data integrity to maintain regulatory compliance and ensure the data is secure.
Typically, data maintenance involves a collective standard procedure that organizations must follow during the design phase. Once the data is stored securely, it will remain complete and accurate for companies to rely on for as long as the data is needed.
Why is Data Integrity Important?
Data integrity is crucial in protecting yourself against data loss or leakage. Data integrity helps ensure you maintain compliance with data laws. Otherwise, failure to comply can result in hefty fines.
Another reason to have data integrity is it solidifies your data management process by validating and authenticating. Data integrity also guarantees that data is accurate. However, it’s how companies handle their data that matters most.
Yet another reason for protecting data integrity is to build and maintain trust with customers. If customer information is breached, it results in mandatory reporting to them and offering then credit monitoring or other solutions to protect or repair the breach of their personal information. The same is true for data related to employees.
With data integrity, businesses can build a data management plan which helps them use their information to the best of their ability without incurring problems.
Data Integrity Issues
Many organizations struggle with real-time data processing because of the limitations of technology. With data integrity, you want to ensure you’re maintaining and checking data accurately in a timely fashion. And with only a fraction of data ingested in real-time, this slows down how data is processed and analyzed.
However, you can transmit data and gain insights faster and securely with cloud-first technology. Using cloud-integration tools will help you meet future data needs and real-time capabilities by accessing all of it from one location.
Other factors that can affect data integrity include:
- Human error: Entering information incorrectly and making mistakes during procedure implementation.
- Transfer error: Data transfer from one location to another incurs a mistake. This happens when a data piece is present in the destination table but not in the source table in a relevant database.
- Bugs or viruses: Malware, spyware, and viruses can invade a computer and alter, delete, or steal data.
- Compromised hardware: When the computer or server crashes, this can indicate the hardware is compromised. Compromised hardware can make information difficult to retrieve — from rendering data incorrectly to eliminating access.
How to Ensure Business Trust and Reliability with Data Integrity
To maintain business trust and reliability, follow these best practices for data integrity:
- Understand the data’s lifecycle: Know everything about the data, such as what information your company stores, where it comes from, and how you collect it.
- Create an audit trail: Maintain a record of all interactions with data during its lifecycle. It helps track down problematic sources and speed up recovery in a data breach or bottleneck.
- Restrict access controls: Keep unauthorized users from accessing sensitive files — for instance, utilize two-factor authentication and grant access rights.
- Use error detection software: You can monitor data integrity by using an anomaly detection service to minimize risks.
- Enhance data security: Proactively look for and remove security weaknesses to maintain high levels of integrity.
- Implement validation: Use this to ensure team members follow the right data processing procedures.
- Communicate the importance of data integrity: Educate personnel regarding the integrity and how they should handle data.
- Respond to data mistakes: Look for duplications and fix any errors that could hinder sensitive data.
- Backup regularly: Schedule backups regularly to prevent permanent data loss.
Enhancing the Level of Data Integrity
Companies driven by data integrity thrive in today’s market. Meanwhile, those who don’t manage it correctly often lose a competitive advantage. Invest in hardware, software, and IT professionals to enhance your levels of data integrity. Doing so ensures confidence in how you’re running your business.