Data Export: Why You Should Keep Data In-House
By Camila Martinez-Granata
Every brand understands the importance of data in today’s digital world. It drives decision-making, forecasting, and optimization, and plays a part in every facet of operations. But to put data to work, you can’t just leave it sitting in a vault—you need to make it available to analytics platforms and other tools to help derive insights and informed business decisions.
Unfortunately, this frequently means exporting your brand’s data to a third party. Between the intrinsic value of company data and consumers’ increasing focus on privacy, you can see why sharing data is the sort of thing that keeps both brand marketers and IT managers awake at night. A KPMG survey found that 62% of business leaders felt their company should do more to strengthen data protection measures. The risks of exporting and sharing data play a notable role in that.
So why do brands export their data so often, and how can it impact business? Let’s take a look at the benefits and risks, and how brands can leverage their data without conceding control.
Why do brands export data to third-party vendors?
Your brand’s data is one of your most important assets. However, its value lies not in its existence, but in what you can learn from it. Data shines when it’s used for real-time analytics to provide insights into your brand’s performance and deliver impactful avenues for improvement.
Unless you’re a Fortune 500 brand, you might not have the in-house resources to do everything you need with your data. In that case, you’ll need to export it. There are many reasons to do so, but these are some of the most common:
- Applications and services: The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model continues to dominate the software landscape, as Gartner estimates that 95% of new software acquisitions are cloud-based. However, using third-party applications often means giving up a copy of your data. In many instances, that amounts to various subsets of your brand’s data falling under the care of CRMs, CDPs, accounting platforms, and the like.
- Data processing and analytics: Like other applications, analytics platforms often require you to upload brand data into their pipeline. While the resulting insights can be instrumental in your ROI optimization efforts, you’re giving up sole control of virtually every touchpoint your customers have created.
- Temporary storage: As the sheer volume of brand data continues to grow, data migration and storage are increasingly complex topics. Companies that lack robust in-house technical capabilities can turn to third parties for assistance in transferring and rehousing data, but it often means giving them temporary access to your information. This can expose companies to risks like data breaches and compliance violations.
- Backups and risk mitigation: Off-site backups—or backups stored in multiple physical locations—are a key part of any risk mitigation strategy. However, maintaining data storage systems in multiple places can be expensive, especially for smaller companies. Turning to third-party suppliers for off-site redundancy often makes more sense than attempting to build an in-house solution. Hence, many companies utilize clouds like AWS, Azure, and others.
More sharing creates more risk
Leveraging third-party services can be powerful, but they come with potential risks and hazards. In a privacy-first world, data protection is paramount, and sharing your data with someone else opens the door for it to be lost or misused in ways you can’t control.
Here are some of the risks brands face when exporting their data to third parties:
- Third-party breaches: Researchers at IBM found that the average data breach costs $3.92 million. Brands can be as security-focused as possible and have strict internal controls. But the minute they export their data, they’re putting their customers’ data and trust—and their company’s financial state—in the hands of a third party.
- Compliance violations: GDPR compliance is a hot topic for organizations around the world, and many state and local governments are enacting their own privacy regulations. Transferring data to third parties can get particularly sticky by itself, but you’re also responsible for anything a third party vendor does with the data, and be subject to massive fines if they do anything wrong.
- Data loss or inaccessibility: If your brand’s workflow is dependent upon an external data warehousing company, what happens if they have a service interruption? Even worse, how much do you trust their risk mitigation plans? Trusting someone else to keep your data safe, only to discover they lost it, could be disastrous–a risk brands should weigh seriously.
- Excess costs: Utilizing third-party resources for data transmission and storage might be cheaper, but they’re not free. If you don’t keep close tabs on how and when you’re using third-party services, it’s easy to rack up substantial bills. This is where pay-as-you-go or custom service packages could come in handy if your brand has a smaller budget.
The case for keeping your data in-house
What if it was possible to realize your data’s full potential without the inherent risk that comes with exporting data to a third party? Along with avoiding the pitfalls outlined above, keeping your data in-house has some significant benefits for your brand:
- Complete control: Once you cede control of your data, it can be difficult to fully regain. By keeping things in-house from the start, you ensure that data is subject to your brand’s security measures and privacy controls, and that third parties aren’t misusing it for their own gain.
- Privacy and security: A Cisco study found that every dollar companies spent on privacy yielded an average of $2.70 in associated benefits. Not only does keeping your data in-house avoid unnecessary risks, but it improves your bottom line and could reduce cost.
- Improved organizational access: Exporting your data to third parties exacerbates the fragmentation and siloing that plagues brands, as it’s unlikely your whole company has the access they need. By keeping it in-house, you can democratize your data and ensure every department is working from fresh and accurate information.
- Full transparency: When you hand your data to a third party, you’re trusting that they’ll do exactly what they say with it, and have the security and stability they claim. Sadly, those promises don’t always align with reality and mistakes can happen. However, if you keep your data in-house, you know exactly what happens to data that remains in your brand’s hands.
- Vendor independence: Using a third-party service can be attractive thanks to reduced upfront costs, but what are the long-term ramifications? If switching away from them down the road would be expensive and painful, an in-house solution can save your brand considerable time and money.
So how do you maximize your data’s value without worrying about vendor lock-in or losing control? That’s where Scuba can help.
Make data access easy and secure with Scuba
Brands often face a trade-off between getting the most out of their data and keeping it safe and private, but you shouldn’t have to choose. Scuba’s continuous intelligence platform allows your company to derive every ounce of insight from your data, yet never forces you to give up control or comprise privacy, especially with these key features:
- Compatibility with AWS, Azure, or your company’s private cloud—wherever you keep your data, it remains entirely behind your firewall and in your cloud of choice.
- Rigorous data-privacy tools including GDPR compliance, SOC 2 Type 2 certification, ISO 27018 certification, and Privacy-Shield certification.
- An intuitive UI that enables marketing teams and non-technical users to perform complex queries and export the results to conform with their workflow.
- A flexible API that can ingest all of your brand's datastreams and export it into your other tools like CRMs and CDPs.
- The ability to quickly scale with your company’s needs and help you get the most from the billions of digital touchpoints your customers generate every day.
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