In the white paper Data Quality and the Digital World, Eric Peterson warns that companies have started to leak data through the multitude of tag-based data collectors they have deployed across their digital properties. “Given the relative ease with which [they] can be added to a web site, combined with the fragmented approach companies take to digital measurement, analysis, and optimization, it should be no surprise companies have started to leak data,” Peterson says. Unless stakeholders understand the reasons tags are deployed and have given permission for deployment, the business is at risk.
Data Leakage Danger
Data leakage creates five dangerous scenarios.
- An employee leaves the company to work for a direct competitor but maintains access to traffic and revenue data through unknown deployment of analytical tools
- An agency deploys tools with questionable PII collection and handling practices
- A TMS is deployed in an effort to consolidate the chain of authority for controlling site tags, yet a this doesn’t prevent other groups from circumventing this process and deploying tags outside of the TMS to meet their own needs.
- A third-party vendor deploys tracking that sells data to other third-parties, which potentially exposes your data to direct competitors.
- A policy bans particular technologies on all sites, yet their tags continue to appear.
Whether data leakage is a minor annoyance or a major catastrophe will depend on your business model and the type of data you collect online, but few would argue that it’s good to deploy random data collection systems without a clear plan for maintaining accuracy, validity, and security of the collected data. The bottom line is without some type of auditing plan and the people and process to support it, your business is most likely experiencing data quality issues including data leakage.
Fortunately combating these issues is fairly painless with ObservePoint’s Data Quality Management platform. For a free assessment of your site technologies, get in touch with us.
This post is based on the white paper Data Quality and the Digital World by Eric T. Peterson, Principal consultant at Web Analytics Demystified.
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