Remember receiving a call from a random number and thinking, ‘Who gave my number to this person?’ Since 2018, we have more ways of safeguarding personal data, thanks to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the impact of GDPR on our daily life is already evident.GDPR has stepped in to protect the rights of individuals by providing them with more control over who has access to their personal information and hold corporations accountable for how they collect and process information.
However, GDPR became an operational nightmare for many companies during the last couple of years. Companies who had loads of data and never bothered to understand the sensitivity of the personal information they used and processed, had to evaluate every channel, method and means by which they collect and store this data.
Many companies still must handle sensitive data in paper and other none digital format (images, scanned documents). While many technologies are available to deal with digitally available personally identifiable information(PII) data, there are very few options to handle none digital format of data. New processes are introduced by many companies to mask PII data in none digital format have caused huge amount of manual work load for processes in sales, marketing, HR, finance and operations function.
Robotics process automation (RPA) comes as rescue in this scenario. My colleague Nils Landberg has recently worked on a similar project. Let’s hear from him how RPA made is possible to overcome this nightmare.
What was the reason you started an RPA project to mask PII data with this customer?
GDPR mandated this customer to add a new process to review different none digital format data and mask sensitive data which are personal by nature. As a part of this process, various documents with different templates and versions must be reviewed and all PII data have to be masked. We recommended a robot to automate this review and masking process.
Did the customer consider moving to a digital platform for collection of data in future?
Yes, they realized early on that to ensure better compliance they need to move to a digital platform. However, they also understood that implementing a digital platform with related migration will take time. And, until that point, they still need to ensure that they are compliant. RPA therefore came very handy as interim solution during this period.
What exactly is automated for this new process?
The robot maps and reads through scanned paper documents from different templates with up to 5 version updates. It recognizes the template and the corresponding version and analyses the sensitivity of the content within the document. After the analysis is performed, the robot masks specific sensitive information as per a defined rule.
What do you believe is the greatest value added of RPA for your customer?
The automation takes away this tedious, boring and repetitive task which had to be performed by highly qualified professionals. These professionals will now be able to focus on processes where they can leverage their decision making, investigative skills more effectively
In summary, RPA is an all-around solution for both digitally native or traditional companies. Traditional companies should not shy away from leveraging RPA and make their life easier.