2020 is rattling by, we are all continuing to adapt to the changing ways of working.

Zoom calls have gone from novel to standard and many of us have shrugged off the initial freedom of loose jogging bottoms into something closer to business casual. However, as we become more adept at working from home, it’s critical we keep principles and regulations in place, particularly when it comes to protecting stakeholder data – and in particular, the transmission of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) by using stakeholder management software.

Organisations risk severe ramifications if they do not protect the data given to them by stakeholders, and whilst you may have your GDPR procedures in line, one area that may not concern you yet is the general whereabouts of user data, user access and the changes made to stakeholder information and the impact this may have on your projects.

The importance of stakeholder management in protecting stakeholder information.

Stakeholder information and personally identifiable data should stay within your systems, but when the doors closed to head office work, laptops came home and conversations become siloed for many companies who had rigid IT policies and methods of working in place, this may have slackened off.

A conversation happens, but it’s logged on a post it note. An email comes through direct to a PR team asking to be removed from a communication list, but no one else is aware. A project deadline is closing and all data and reports need to be passed on, but no one has a ‘live’ version to hand that’s cohesive across employees’ different devices.

If this is happening, this means your data is incorrect or even corrupted.

That’s not to say that your employees have suddenly taken a sinister turn and are moonlighting with a position serving valuable data to the dark web. It is simply the case that, as a human, they are prone to error and if they aren’t using a simple, easy to access system that can work with them whether they are at home or HQ – things can get messy.

Tasks that are repetitive, such as pulling up account information, filling out forms, writing summaries, making notes and multi-tasking, combined with a need to hold and manage stakeholder information and also help a five year old with her maths homework all mean that there is a risk to data contamination even with the best intentions.

That S becomes a D with a slip of the finger, a deadline gets copied from the wrong spreadsheet and before you know it, you have some big problems and no way to ‘revert’ back to the genuine information.

How can stakeholder management software help in protecting stakeholder information?

When stakeholder management is all based on the use of one piece of software, the pressure to save data in the right file or place is gone. By being logged into the system, every single communication can be kept in place.

If as part of an employee’s day, they are using tools like MS Office or Excel to hold or save stakeholder data, even for a short time frame, you could be in trouble. Unlike stakeholder management software, Excel has very little to ensure data integrity, backup, and disaster recovery.

Mislaid laptops, files sent without password protection or computers and print outs left open, even at home, could be seen as divulging personal data.

Using a system like Excel means the overall system is highly prone to mis-entered data.

What’s the best way to ensure quality stakeholder data?

At Tractivity we take huge companies from using Excel and other ways of working into one cohesive system that manages every single stakeholder interaction. This means that they can then focus on the tasks that only humans can do – such as focusing 100% on the stakeholder conversation, empathizing with them and efficiently resolving their problems or concerns and improving engagement on the consultation, project or issue, whilst stakeholder management software handles the data.

Adopting a cloud-based software tool protects sensitive data from reaching the wrong areas and protects compliance requirements, as well as helping the business streamline processes and gain improved engagement.

We have helped hundreds of stakeholder engagement and management professionals improve their working systems by using Tractivity. Why not read some of our case studies?