The implications for software Part 1
Businesses are just now coming to recognise the impact that the new GDPR legislation will have on their organisations. Increased penalties for each data breach, will have a dramatic change on the way companies treat their clients’ data. One of the areas that needs to be addressed is the software tools that are used to capture, store and retrieve people’s personal details.
Issues with Excel
Most of the companies I go to, have innumerable spreadsheets kept by various people throughout the organisation. Most have the same information typed in twice and sometimes thrice over for different purposes. One will be for the contact details, another quotes, orders, dispatches and so on and on. The bottom line is that the data is in a mess, with staff not sure of which is the latest version, different spellings, broken formulas or just straight out entry errors. In this scenario, not only is the company operating with unreliable information, but it would difficult, if nigh on impossible to comply with the new GDPR legislation.
Example of client access request.
Excel is a flexible single user platform that appears easy to use. Appearances can be deceptive. Once GDPR is in place, you may get your “client access request” from individuals claiming their “right to be forgotten”. You have only 40 days in which to respond to that request and remove their records from your systems. No problem you might think – I can just delete the rows and gone – but what if there are any number of different spreadsheets saved across the server in separate versions. If you include the multiple backups, then there is no way you could guarantee that each person’s request has been fully actioned. Not only that, Excel is a flexible single user system. If you delete the row that contains the details that need removing, will you have proof or date stamp that indicates that the record once existed and has been removed.
Next in the series: GDPR problem with proving a record has been removed in Excel. For further information see our FAQ section.
About the Author.
Malcolm Ford has 25 years business experience ina wide variety of sectors accross 2 continents. he currently works with companies on data migration projects and database technolpgies.