You should work to create a culture of data in your compliance program. This comes from an understanding that data is a product, which you can consume internally in the compliance function. Your data is a corporate asset so why not use it. That is a key point that you should recognize. Yet data is not simply big or even scary. It is information that you can use in helping you make better decisions. The CCO needs to find a way to deliver compliance analytics in a manner that is timely within your company’s everyday decision-making calculus.
One of the biggest misunderstandings about using data is that compliance practitioners tend to be myopic. They only look at individual data when it is more useful to know what a population of people are doing. As a CCO, how many times have you heard something along the lines of “If we look we might find something”? This defensive attitude can keep you from making use of some of the most useful information to you, your own data. The more transparency there was involving data, the less they thought of it as a liability.
A key insight for the compliance function the democratization of data access has allowed companies to become much more data oriented in decision making. Do not hoard your data. This means more than simply using it but also making it available to the business folks to help them to make their decisions more in compliance. This transparency will not only improve the quality of your decision making but it should also allow you to bring more robust compliance analysis into the fabric of your organization.
Innovation in compliance is really nothing new. Best practices compliance programs have evolved from as far back as the Metcalf and Eddy enforcement action, through Opinion Release 04-02, to the current Ten Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance Program as set out in the 2012 FCPA Guidance and Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, where your data, its interpretation and looped feedback into your compliance program is critical. There has always been evolution of compliance. This is to be embraced because the consequences of not doing so are too catastrophic.