People & Transformation

Data Is Beautiful – How To Successfully Implement Data Management Regulations

The treasure of our times is data. We are all senders and recipients of a vast amount of data daily: whether it is business or private. Are we fully aware of its value and importance? Data can be as precious as diamonds, so valuable that people are ready to pay unbelievable sums of money for it. Not dealing with data correctly entails significant risks for businesses and can cost an equally high price.

FTI Consulting’s People & Change practice works closely with clients to implement data management regulations from a people’s perspective.

Not a day goes by without hearing about data breaches, cyber threats and leaked personal data. FTI Consulting’s own research suggests that from 2016 to 2017 the number of data breaches increased by 45% with the trend continuing through 2018.¹

As a reaction to these threats increased regulatory requirements are being implemented within businesses globally, with the goal to protect individuals, customers and businesses. Due to these new regulations – to name just a few: Data Privacy and GDPR – corporates are faced with the challenge to implement new processes and guidelines within their organizations. They need to create a new awareness for data and data management amongst their employees. They need to ensure that new processes and systems are adopted. They need to steer employee behavior and change the way data is handled daily. Not an easy task!

To provide guidance and implementation support, FTI Consulting’s People & Change practice works closely with clients to implement data management regulations from a people’s perspective. With our change management and communications experience we help manage data management projects and a shift employee behavior successfully.

Before getting started, consider the following guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that are success-critical for managing change projects:

  • Make sure to have a strong and visible sponsor at senior level
  • Set up a change governance and project team that can implement the project powerfully, steer internal stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Position the benefits of good data management for the business, the customer and employees
  • Data management is about individual change of behaviors: emotionalize the journey and help employees understand the impact on their daily work in order to take ownership
  • It takes time to develop new ways of handling data: a one-off communication won’t fix it. Make sure to enable the organization and support them throughout the implementation phase

¹ Based on internal FTI Consulting research; https://inspiredelearning.comblog/2018-data-breaches-reveal-lack-of-security-awareness/

1. Awareness

First, it is necessary to raise awareness about the importance of data management and to position the topic as business critical. In this phase, the topic and the benefits of data management need to be made accessible to employees and get their attention. The use of a theme or creative analogy often helps employees relate to the topic, simplifies its complexity and supports communication with employees throughout the project. So: get creative and position the story right!

2. Understanding

In a next step, it is important to provide information and explain what exactly needs to change. It is vital to help employees understand the implications for their daily interactions with data. Only then can they change their behaviors towards storing, deleting and protecting data. This includes providing detailed information about data regulation in general as well as on the implementation process itself.

3. Enablement

It is essential to enable employees to implement the regulation by offering support and clear guidance on “how to work differently” and what to avoid. Managers take on an important role as they act as role models and support. Training programs are one common tool to help employees implement the changes – but there is more: using regular touchpoints, such as team meetings, lunch & learns etc., to continuously address the topic can
boost enablement and thus implementation.

4. Advocacy

During periods of change leaders and multipliers play a crucial role. They need to be empowered and mobilized to be able to drive the change and to support their employees. A network of change agents is a valuable tool to embed and promote the data management initiative. It acts as an “on-the-ground force” that can be upskilled to help navigate the topic locally with employees.

The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.

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