Financial data covers a wide range of information, including balance sheets and accounting software, bank records, and debts due. The data is available in a variety of places, from physical files in the data center of a bank to spreadsheets on computers at home and office.
Access to financial information has many advantages, but comes with risks. Sharing data is a nitty-gritty process that must be planned and executed carefully. One method to mitigate the risk is to involve line managers and finance specialists in the planning process and ensure that they are able to address any questions from employees. Another option is to provide adequate training and support. A final strategy is to integrate data availability into your business plan so that it becomes part of the everyday activities.
A database of the latest financial data that is easily accessible can offer a wealth of insights and competitive advantage. This can be a source of anxiety for some, particularly those who are able to manage and control their personal financial information.
Fortunately, new opportunities in technology are opening up to reconcile the tension between sharing data and privacy. Existing techniques, referred to as Privacy-Enhancing Technologies, can enable institutions to share and mix financial data in a secure manner, while preserving user anonymity and confidentiality. As banks, fintechs and apps develop tools to share secure data, this is already taking place. This unified ecosystem requires effective data access controls that allow users to carry out distinct tasks.