A Data Driven World

14 June 2018

For the past few years there has been a lot of hype about the "value" of data to companies. There's no doubt that the power of information, gathered from inside and outside business operations, has the ability to transform thinking and steer future investment down a more strategic path.

Our industry is sitting on a wealth of information - membership details, visitation habits, point of sale spend trends, gaming and wagering consumption, even through to health and participation, sporting teams and charity preferences.  The majority of this is collected within each venue, across myriad systems which are updated at different times and mostly in unstructured categories.  Like many other industries, just a base level of thought has gone into the security systems protecting this information.

Fast track to today, and we're seeing more examples of "hackers" penetrating data firewalls and stealing personal details, or data being accessed and used to market or influence us to use products or events.  The most noticable instance was UK data intelligence firm Cambridge Analytica admitting it harvested the details of more than 87m Facebook users.

This raises two key issues which are equally relevant to all of our club executive, our employees and the valued members of our clubs:

  1. Ensuring our data is protected in a way that prevents the majority of hack attempts (understanding that there is no such thing as a 100% secure environment) and importantly this includes any third-party group who has access to club data;
  2. Making sure what data we do gather is bound by robust permissions at an individual level (helping protect those who share their information with us).  For more than a year, Germany has been working a set of data standards by which the European Union will operate.

On May 25 this year a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will enforce new standards for the protection of customer data and will have a profound effect on the way companies acquire and manage that data.

The goal of GDPR is to protect people's online experiences.  Many believe this standard will (and should) become this global standard for personal data protection.

With this in mind ClubsNSW, has undertaken the independent creation of an Information & Cybersecurity Protection Framework for the club industry.

The strategic framwork has already been distributed to 21 members of the ClubsNSW Digital Advisory Committee, which includes the outcomes of;

  1. The formation of a Data Governance Standard (for all of the industry); and,
  2. A Data Security Framework Policy - rules via which membership data can be governed and protected.

The timeline for the completion of this initial strategic project is June 30, 2018.

Though unfortunate, the recent data breach events have presented an opportunity for the clubs industry to take a proactive stance in regards to Data Management, whereby all Australian and New Zealand clubs will have educated guidance to help their decision making around the data they capture within their organisation.

(David McGrath, ClubsNSW Digital Officer, ClubLIFE May 2018)

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