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PHOTO: Aidas Ciziunas

The most important promise a technology can make is to respect your data.

Businesses, governments and individuals spend millions of dollars each year to collect, analyze and monetize data. Data is valuable, no doubt, and it deserves to be treated well. Fortunately, there are low-code application platforms that can help provide the respect your data deserves. 

As you evaluate low-code platform technology, here is some relationship advice to keep in mind as you look for the system that’s right for your organization.

Data Remorse Is Not OK

If you’ve ever wondered whether your applications are using the most current data sources or business documents, then you have experienced what I like to call data remorse. That is the inability of your technology to decide if the data is right for you (and your application), exacerbated by the inability to let go of data even when it is out of date or no longer works for you.

Low-code application platforms can help you avoid data remorse, but you must choose wisely and follow these three steps:

  • First, choose a low-code application platform that can deliver a unified data view without requiring you to duplicate or move data to enable access from your business applications.
  • Next, because data destruction is as important as data creation, select platform technology that enables you to version content and deprecate old content.
  • Finally, choose technology that enables clear data ownership, stewardship and collaboration and access roles. Otherwise, the faster you create new applications, the faster you will create new data silos and dead ends.

Related Article: How I Became a Customer Superfan

Appreciate Your Data Wingman: The CDO

Keep in mind you need not be in this alone. With the rise of big data, organizations are adding the role of chief data officer (CDO) to the C-suite. Some are creating new positions with the title CDO while others are adding CDO responsibilities to current CxO positions.

The best CDOs approach their jobs with a balance of high intelligence and high emotional intelligence to ensure a healthy relationship with data.

Your low-code platform choice should support that balance with the following attributes:

  • Intelligent automation features like robotic process automation (RPA), business process management (BPM) and artificial intelligence (AI), which support left-brain analytic skills and reasoning abilities.
  • Right-brain collaboration capabilities that help solve challenges throughout the business in creative ways.

Related Article: The Rise of the Chief Data Officer

Data Without Purpose Is Meaningless

Data is most valuable when organizations use it to fulfill its purpose — which is to improve decision-making, operational efficiency and customer experience.

That is why your choice of a low-code platform needs to ensure that data is made available in context for your key processes. Health care organizations are increasingly selecting platforms with integrated intelligent automation capabilities for this purpose.

A recent RevCycle Intelligence article titled “Why We Need AI in Healthcare” reports that denials cost hospitals and health systems over $262 billion annually. What does data have to do with it? Well, 61 percent of denials are due to missing information, a problem easily addressed by the right low-code platform technology.

For the health care industry, this translates to better business outcomes, but more importantly better patient outcomes — improving and saving lives.

Related Article: How Many Portals Does it Take to Deliver Good Patient Care?

Your Data, Your Rules?

Concluding that business impact is perhaps the ultimate outcome of data respect shines a light on some fundamental questions: Who does data belong to and what responsibilities do you have to protect it?

These are critical considerations for consumers acting on their own behalf, and for business-to-consumer and business-to-business transactions where participants include companies or organizations.

Data privacy rules are increasingly being put in place to provide protection. Examples include the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR), which has global implications, and the newly enacted California Consumer Privacy Act, which is set to go into effect in January 2020. In this regulatory climate, it is necessary to make sure the technology that deals with your data is itself compliant with all relevant laws, and that it will enable your business to be compliant and transparent.

Data breaches — much like relationship breakups — should never be “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” situations. [Alert: awesome musical interlude.]

Technology that can help take control, assess, notify and repair can ensure you treat data with respect. For example, KPMG’s privacy by design solution for managing data risks is made up of six apps built on a low-code development platform that include an inventory of personal data, a master record and an app for privacy impact assessments.

And there is a flip side to this coin. In a 2018 CMSWire article titled “GDPR and the Right to Be Remembered,” I wrote about the importance of technology that can ensure data not be withheld when it is appropriate to share. This includes ensuring that access is not so complex and arcane that data is effectively not available when needed.

“We want companies to recognize us when we have a service request, so they don’t have to ask multiple times for information that is already in their systems. We want them to treat us like people, not as transactions or invoices,” I wrote. “What we don’t want is our data mistreated or taken for the good of the company only or breached without recourse.”

In other words, show some respect. After all, isn’t that what good relationships are all about?