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How and Why Identify Personal Data Within SAS®?

Why is identifying personal customer data so important?

Protecting the personal information of our customers is nothing new - the Data Protection Act was implemented in the UK back in 1998. Organisations should look on GDPR (implemented on 25th May 2018) and its legislations as an evolution and extension of that Act to further protect the rights of individuals. As such, we have seen data governance come to the fore over the last couple of years and now it is here to stay. Whilst your preparations for GDPR are likely well underway, ask yourself this… 

How confident am I that we have located every piece of personal, identifiable data across our SAS environment? And, with the processes we have in place, how confident can I continue to be?

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The identification of all personal data fields is fundamental to ensuring data governance best practice within your organisation. SAS has worked hard in recent years to enhance its products and solutions to meet and even exceed the ever-evolving requirements for high standards of data governance and data security within your organisations.

Across the range of SAS products and solutions available to customers, there is a plethora of benefits and functionality to enhance your organisation’s capabilities and needs. Examples of some of the key products and solutions are outlined below:

  • SAS Data Management Studio (part of the SAS Data Quality solution) is a fantastic tool for exploring and profiling data whilst enhancing data quality. 
  • SAS Federation Server provides scalable, threaded, multi-user and standards-based data access, to seamlessly integrate data from multiple data services. Best of all, it has strong capabilities to access, identify, protect and monitor personal data due to centralised, role-based access rights and sophisticated encryption. It also offers the ability to run queries to identify personal data stored within your SAS datamarts. 
  • SAS Visual Analytics allows your business to report details of who has accessed personal data when SAS Environment Manager is used.

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How can I identify the personal data within my organisation’s SAS environment?

Whilst having the right software solution to protect the private information stored within your SAS environment is essential, it is not your only step to ensure compliance. Your SAS users must first ensure that they are able to identify and view every field of personal information held within your organisation. This is no easy task, but it is vital. Without it, it is likely some personal data may go untraced, risking non-compliance with regulations such as GDPR. Download our essential guide for advice on identifying all personal, identifiable data within your SAS environment. 

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Why should my organisation take action?

Data governance is not something to be taken lightly – there have been numerous examples in recent years of companies who have suffered seriously in the wake of perceived data breaches or ambiguity over who owns what data. Just think back to the recent issues at Facebook… Non-compliance could seriously destabilise your organisation, and not just through the hefty regulatory fines (€20m or 4% of annual global turnover). The knock-on effects would be felt in various forms elsewhere, from the potential loss of supplier and advertiser loyalty, to significant detrimental impact on customer perception of your brand.

Here at Amadeus, our SAS experts can help ensure this doesn’t happen to you… 

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If you are concerned about data governance within your organisation, or you think there is more that can be done to safeguard your customers’ valuable information, contact our team of SAS experts. With 28 years’ industry experience, Amadeus has the skills and expertise to support you at any stage in the process, from licensing the optimal SAS solution, to knowledge transfer of best practice for keeping your customers’ data safe. 

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* This blog was updated on 18.7.18, to reflect the implementation of GDPR

Guide: Identifying Personal Information Within SAS

The identification of the personal information within your organisation’s SAS essential is essential to ensure compliance with regulations regarding data governance, including GDPR. So, whether you are at the end of your data governance journey, or are still seeking to understand the scale of the issue, the following use case is a must-read. 

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About Amadeus Software

Amadeus is an independent SAS consultancy and SAS Partner. We are recognised as SAS experts and have a reputation for quality across our business - SAS Software Reselling, SAS Consultancy, SAS Training and SAS Managed Services. We enable businesses and organisations of all sizes and across all industries to optimise their use of SAS software and maximise their return on investment.