Managing Data in the Cloud

Often the data protection offered by your cloud provider will be superior to what exists in the internal infrastructure.

investment, launching a new product, or hiring a new employee. How do you ensure that the complete process is supported with no disconnect between all these activities?

Cloud analytics is the most effective way to access cloud data. But what if much of your data remains on premise? What hybrid architecture will best ensure timely access to all your data?

Data liability and risks

Certainly, data liability and risks exist in the cloud, similar to on-premise data. Often the data protection offered by your cloud provider will be superior to what exists in the internal infrastructure.

The CDO team, in partnership with the IT security team and chief privacy officer, should review the cloud provider’s encryption, masking, and anonymization methods to ensure they comply with your company’s security and privacy standards. This is especially important for protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and data in motion, either from IoT devices or real-time data streams. CDOs must understand how the data will be used by the business community. Remember that one of the fast-growing risk types is “data ethics” risks caused by bias in the data and the analytic algorithms. Best-of-breed organizations implement data ethics guidelines and develop an operational framework to manage these risks.

Managing third-party data providers in the cloud

In managing your third-party data sources in the cloud, what should you consider?

Acquiring, storing, and using third-party data sources have been requirements for CDOs since the 1980s, especially in the financial services and telecommunication industries.

What have we learned over time?

  • Finding suitable third-party data providers is time-consuming and often requires using unconventional (and perhaps outdated) sources.  
  • Often the same or similar data is purchased separately by different business units.
  • The process to integrate third-party data into the company’s internal infrastructure is often lengthy and complicated, not to mention ensuring the data is used legally across the corporate ecosystem.
  • Third-party metadata is often missing or incomplete, requiring internal data teams to perform metadata remediation manually.

Yet, there is an ever-growing need for more and different third-party data. This is driven by new technology, business trends, and the emerging need of your company to predict when to expect “the next normal,” for example, a post-pandemic environment.

The growing trend is for third-party data to be provided as add-on features to SaaS, PaaS, and BPaaS cloud solutions, such as the AWS Data Exchange, a data exchange network, or a data marketplace solution. Also growing are data marketplace solutions such as Datarade, which offers buyers thousands of data source options, as well as data-sharing exchanges such as CDQ, which offers data-sharing and collaboration services.

An important best practice for managing third party data is to establish a Head of Acquisition role in the CDO organization. This leader establishes the process for sourcing,  acquisition, and use of third-party data in the firm working in partnership with the institution’s procurement organization.   


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