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How to Conduct a Data Risk Assessment

SwoopTalent
September 1, 2017

Migrating from any HR system or integrating new platforms presents a varying level of risk. If your team is considering a move from IBM Kenexa to Workday or Taleo, or you want to add Saba’s LMS or another tool to your “dream stack,” you should always run a data risk assessment before committing to these plans.

Why run a data risk assessment?

Integrating and migrating different systems come with costs. Along with platform costs there are internal team costs, 3rd party consulting costs, productivity costs, efficiency costs and unforeseen costs from delays/disasters.

A data risk assessment helps you understand the overall complexity of your project based on the systems you plan to integrate/migrate or add into everyday usage. Risk assessments also forecast of the likelihood and extent of an error or system incompatibility scrambling data sets or destroying data altogether.

Below are the key factors you’ll need to consider when running your data risk assessment.

How to Conduct a HR Data Risk Assessment

Start by taking inventory.

When you conduct your HR data risk assessment, start by listing out every system your HR and talent teams are currently using. This will include ATS, CRMs, recruitment marketing tools, performance management, workforce management, spreadsheets, LMS, assessment tools and any other systems or tools you are using. Each of these various tools will have higher or lower levels of risks, and the way these tools integrate will play a part in how high your risk level is for losing data during your system migrations.

How much history do you have?

A key factor in your data risk assessment will be the amount of historical data you have in each of your HR data systems. The longer you have been using a legacy ATS like Kenexa, the more historical data that can be compromised or lost during a migration. Evaluate how much and what types of data you have in individual HR systems, to determine what your overall level of exposure will be if a system’s data is lost or compromised.

Do you have any customizations of forms?

Oftentimes with legacy ATS systems, your team will have conducted some level customizations, especially with custom forms used for candidate/employee records. When migrating systems, keep in mind that this data will often be the most likely to be at risk. Always answer the following questions before proceeding with a planned data migration: How much of your data has been customized? And how will this be addressed in the new system migration to mitigate loss?

Do you have any integrations that matter to you?

Chances are you’ve been using your main system for quite some time, and you’ve probably plugged in several more systems along the way to try and create a unified HR ecosystem. When assessing your risk for data loss/exposure, expect these integrations to require rebuilding and require a new translation for the data flowing between from system-to-system. The more systems you have integrated, the higher your level of risk for losing valuable data.

Are you planning to use AI or Machine Learning?

AI and machine learning initiatives will impact your level of risk in data migrations, because these initiatives can’t deliver desired results without copious amounts of data. If your team has plans that depend on leveraging AI, then you need to minimize your loss of data during the system migration processes.

Do you have any other way to access data that you’re migrating?

Some migrations will give you exports or read-only versions of your data. Most of the time, this means the people who actually use your HR data will be unable to. For example, if you’re migrating from Kenexa to Workday, you’ll be given a read-only version of BrassRing form data. This means your recruiters who rely on this data will be unable to access it in a meaningful way. If 3rd parties or software providers want to give you an export of your data, always consider how the format and level of access to this information will increase/decrease risk for its intended use.

What is your plan for archive compliance?

If you have achieved regulatory archive compliance, you a plan for your records to remain compliant. Use your existing archiving compliance plan to determine what your overall risk looks like moving to a new system and what data is at greatest risk from migration.

Final Thoughts: How to Conduct a Data Risk Assessment

Conducting a data risk assessment is a crucial step in any data migration process, and shows you which risks you will need to mitigate for your system migration to run successfully.

Does running a data risk assessment seem like too much of a headache for your team? Click here to have a data risk assessment conducted for your team automatically.

Don’t forget to check out a demo of SwoopTalent. SwoopTalent is the perfect platform to help you through any data migration or integration by acting as the connector and data lake for all systems, giving you full integration with a single user action with no risk of data loss.

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