Data is the backbone of every business, but it’s not unusual for an organization to have multiple data collection tools in use spread across different departments. In fact, FormAssembly’s recent survey of 250 CIOs, CISOs, and data security leaders found that respondents reported an average 4.31 different data collection platforms at their organizations.
In the beginning, having multiple separate tools may be more cost effective and efficient for small teams. But if your organization has been collecting data across several platforms for some time, it’s tough to keep all this information accurate, updated, and reliable.
What happens when these systems don’t integrate and data becomes siloed? Or worse, your organization struggles to know where data comes from, where it’s going, or how it’s stored. Multi-platform data collection makes it challenging to maintain governance, creating several risks for your organization’s data.
Multi-platform data collection quickly becomes a data visibility issue. The more disconnected the systems collecting data at your organization are, the more siloed this data will become. Without platform integration, different departments may also be collecting duplicate data from the same customers and prospects.
This is not only a poor experience for users, but will require hours of your team’s time to fix. If this duplicate data is also collected in different formats, sorting this information will become even more difficult and time-consuming. Even more concerning, poor data visibility can cause security vulnerabilities and compliance challenges.
Data collected across multiple platforms and departments can’t easily be accessed or analyzed. This can quickly lead to teams wasting time sorting through bad data instead of having the right information available. Common signs of data quality issues include:
- Duplicate data
- Incomplete data
- Outdated data
- Inaccurate data
- Inconsistent data
Poor data quality isn’t just a productivity issue for your organization, however. It can affect all areas of your organization. When data quality goes down, so does the quality of your reporting and ability to make informed decisions. It also increases the likelihood of missed opportunities, bad user experiences, and diminished customer loyalty and trust. Poor data quality, as with poor data visibility, can also lead to security and compliance risks.
Security and Compliance
Two of the biggest and most concerning risks of having multi-platform data collection is security and compliance. Without the ability to see data flows or properly manage data, it will be difficult to secure and protect sensitive user data. Data security also becomes risky if your organization relies on legacy systems or is not regularly updating or maintaining data collection tools.
Staying compliant with data privacy regulations also becomes challenging when collecting data from multiple sources. Data privacy laws require that organizations responsibly and ethically collect, store, and manage data while being transparent about these practices. If your organization struggles to know what data is being collected, where it is stored, or whether it is relevant and usable, this increases risks of noncompliance.
Minimizing Multi-Platform Data Collection Risks
Many challenges that come with using multiple platforms to collect data can be addressed with better data governance and stewardship. Together, governance and stewardship can help ensure that your organization keeps track of the type of data being collected and what happens to this data once in your care.
Overall, an awareness of your data collection methods and policies as well as how employees handle data (including access to it) will improve data visibility and quality. Most importantly, it will make it easier to maintain data security and compliance.
Another way to minimize risks is by moving to a consolidated data collection solution that can be used across your entire organization. For example, FormAssembly’s platform provides secure, compliant data collection that integrates with external systems like Salesforce, Google Sheets, and payment connectors like Stripe and PayPal. With FormAssembly, data flows seamlessly and securely throughout your organization, helping to streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and maintain compliance.
Learn More in the Digital Data Collection Report
Interested to learn how other organizations are managing practices, policies, and risks in online data collection? Download the Digital Data Collection & Security report to get the results and learn how your organization can improve.