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    The Responsibilities of Managing Big Data

    There are enormous benefits from Big Data analytics in Public Affairs, but there are also some potential pitfalls if it is not managed well.  Big Data allows you to target individuals who care the most about an issue and are willing to be an activist for your cause.  It also allows you to track their online behavior which can guide campaign plans in advertising, e-mail, social media, traditional media, etc.  But, if the data is faulty or lost into the wrong hands it can also be a huge embarrassment and risk to you or your clients.

    Here’s what to look out for – and how to protect yourself and your clients.

    The collection and manipulation of Big Data can result in significant efficiencies for running real-world campaigns on broad topics such as the environment, taxes, or social issues. It allows you to target individuals who care the most about an issue and are willing to be an activist for your cause. It also allows you to track their online behavior which can guide campaign plans in advertising, e-mail, social media, traditional media, etc. But, if the data is faulty or lost into the wrong hands it can also be huge embarrassment and risk to you or your clients.

    People generate thousands of data points every day – where they go, who they communicate with, what they watch, how much they sleep and more – so their digital footprint is growing at an unimaginable rate. According to an article published in Forbes Magazine “The data volumes are exploding, more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race.” and “Data is growing faster than ever before and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet.”

    With the growing amount of personal data being captured, many privacy advocates are raising awareness to the potential number of individual privacy threats and abuses by organizations and hackers. There has been little to be done in regards to privacy protections to date, that is why it is important set your own standards that ensure the accuracy of the data, protect the privacy of your advocates, and build the walls to secure their data.

    Here are three ways improve data accuracy, privacy and security:

    • Be a Data Precisionist: Be diligent in the accuracy of your data.
      -Know and trust your data sources.
      -Understand what the data is telling you and if you don’t know, ask.
      -Double check your assumptions and sources by verify through multiple resources.
    • Be an Advocate: Be an advocate for their privacy.
      -Request consent to use personal data and disclose how you are going to use it.
      -Provide easily understandable and accessible information about your privacy and security practices.
      -Be reasonable by limiting the personal data that you collect and retain.
    • Be Hyper Secure: Be diligent in the security and responsible handling of personal data.
      -Encrypt data both in rest and transit.
      -Use multi-layer authentication that requires at least two forms of authentication.
      -Be diligent in updating your application, operating systems and networks with the latest software and firmware.

     

     

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