Data inventory

A data inventory or a record of authority, identifies personal data within systems and helps with mapping how it is stored and shared (see: Data Mapping) across channels. Data inventories are defined under privacy regulations, including the GDPR, CCPA, and CPRA. 

Requirements of Privacy Regulations

While the concept of data inventory is not new, it has taken center stage in the past few years. Regulations now in effect, including the GDPR and the CCPA, are driving factors for businesses worldwide to take a much closer look at their data.

At the very least, an inventory of data is necessary because understanding what information the organization gathers contributes to enhanced productivity and greater transparency for everyone. The outcomes of data inventory can also contribute to improved reporting, decision-making, and operational efficiency.

Protection and Enforcement

By creating a checklist for protection and enforcement criteria, committing to a data inventory plan also helps evaluate and reduce risk and uncertainty. The data inventory helps define and guarantee transparency, better match organizational task priorities, improve trust and continuity, and create knowledge and efficiency.

It is much more challenging to determine the underlying risk without an accurate inventory, which can make it difficult to define your company's controls to safeguard your critical information assets.

With numerous data streams entering the pipeline into your company's information system, it is essential to understand where everything comes from to be structured appropriately, accessed, analyzed, and secured.

In addition to previously mentioned advantages, gaining better insights into the type of data you collect, where it is held, with whom it is shared, and how it is transferred provides you with better accessibility.

What commonly goes into the data inventory

  • Internal business systems
  • Cloud-based systems 
  • Third-party systems and data feeds from customers or partners
  • Systems with customer data(marketing, sales, CRM, etc)