Data Compliance - Spicing Up the Big Boring Secret to Success

Your business is main course material…so what’s the missing ingredient that’s holding you back?

Data Compliance - Spicing Up the Big Boring Secret to Success
27 March 2024 ∙ 4 min read

Rules suck. 

But you know what sucks harder? 

Breaking rules you didn’t even know existed. 

Nobody should ever have to lose business over something so silly, so let’s cover an aspect of data management that makes the average person shudder: 

DATABASE RULES 

Rules could refer to things like constraints (foreign keys), input masks (for standardising a phone number), and more top-level rules about what goes where in relation to a table or database. 

The key to setting good rules is to ensure that they’re strict enough to have a positive impact, but loose enough so the business can still function dynamically. For some teams, this may mean they need secondary processes to handle the exceptions for any of the rules they set.  

Table of Contents

Data solutions for global problems

If you’re a bad boy and you hate the thought of conforming to the rules (or maybe you’re just too lazy to comply), then all you need to prioritise is understanding your business and niche completely.  

Let’s say we know someone who operates a business with dealings in both Australia and New Zealand. Setting an input mask (rules that tell a computer exactly how information should be entered into a database or application) to capture a 10-digit phone number will leave them short when it comes to NZ.  

But if they set it to 11 (for NZ), then that’s trouble for Aussie numbers.  

So, this client would need a system smart enough to handle input masks dynamically according to changes in the country code. Try filling out a form with foreign numbers and you’ll see what we mean! 

Using loopholes as learning opportunities

Here’s another challenge: what about when a country moves to a new phone number format, like we did in the 80s? While new rules give a better chance at maintaining data consistency, it’s also additional overhead for day-to-day management. That means tweaking rules, disabling rules, or running rule checks daily to ensure uniformity and reliability.  

It’s basically asking, everyday: what loophole has an employee found this time? And if so, how and why did they do this? Most of the time, it’s not malicious. It’s just people trying to perform their job as quickly as possible, with the least amount of effort. This is a great opportunity to find a more appropriate rule or the very hole that needs plugging. 

The hidden cost of convenience

Rules are just one way to improve data quality. A more long-term investment in data involves educating everyone in the business. The hard part of handling a business is that often, inaction is just as bad as wrong actions…. or a small detour for the sake of convenience creates more work for everyone down the line.  

Skipping data audits because everybody’s busy?  

Bypassing back-ups because nothing bad’s going to happen?  

Overlooking user access controls because everybody on the team is on good terms anyway?  

Wake up, sheeple—THIS is where it all begins!  

Complacency is the number one killer of businesses worldwide!  

That last part may have been a little dramatic, but you get the point. Data isn’t some vague catch-all for whatever those IT geeks in the corner work on. At least, not anymore. It’s everything a business needs to bridge that gap between getting by and making it big. This means if entrepreneurs want to succeed, then they need everyone on their team to know how to handle data. 

Unfortunately, it also means they’re screwed if even just one guy doesn’t take it seriously. 

The big boring secret: Data Literacy

But really, most of the time people are just unaware of their actions can have a massive effect on the rest of the business. If companies can hold regular and informative sessions that engage employees, then this empowers them to handle data better throughout its various touch points. People need to start putting an emphasis on the impact their actions have, and if those actions were positive, the impact it would have on both them and those down the line. Then they might be able to strike a chord and create some real change! 

The takeaway? Anybody who’s ever owned a business can confirm that it’s never going to be a smooth ride, even on the slow days. By fostering a culture of data literacy within your team, and keeping your eyes peeled for the latest developments in the tech space, database rules stop acting as restraints for our business—and they start helping you focus on your growth. 

Let’s tidy up your database. Get started with a quick consultation. 

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