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Cathy Polinsky – Why I Joined DataGrail

DataGrail, July 26, 2022

Cathy Polinsky

Over the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate to work for some of the most iconic, groundbreaking tech companies, across e-commerce, AdTech, enterprise, and infrastructure. Shopify, Stitch Fix, Salesforce, Yahoo!, Oracle, and Amazon – each understanding the importance of data and being a good steward of that data, but none a “privacy” company. 

Given all that is taking place in the world around us, today I am inspired to join the data privacy movement to create positive change. First and foremost, I believe privacy is a fundamental right, and one that is important for democracy. Individuals should have a say in how their personal information is stored, how it’s used, who it’s shared with, and why. Currently, they lack this control – and that’s not because every company is out to sell their data or monitor their movements.

Deconstructing the Complex Web of Third-Party Apps

Even the most well-intentioned organizations are often unsure of where all of a user’s or customer’s data is housed. This is because of the widespread adoption and integration of third-party SaaS apps. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big proponent of SaaS apps – I think they are incredibly useful for everything from marketing to loyalty to customer support to sales and more. After all, why would you build functionality yourself when there are so many good products already out there; you want to leverage the best tools and focus your engineering team on the things that are unique to your business. But for all the great things third-party apps enable for businesses, they create a massive, tangled web of customer information, making it incredibly difficult to know all the places a single customer’s data resides. 

As such, it’s not at all uncommon for a customer to request that a company delete their data only to receive a marketing email two months later. The customer wonders what happened, how the company still had their information that was supposedly deleted. In reality, the company could have deleted the customer’s data from 99 applications but missed where it was hiding in the 100th, and that single application made it possible for the customer to receive an unwanted email contact, rupturing any remaining trust between the customer and company. This is absolutely not what businesses want or need, particularly in today’s economic climate when customer trust is an absolute priority. 

The ability to eliminate this scenario is one of the many reasons I joined DataGrail. The DataGrail platform makes it easy for companies to identify everywhere customer information resides – from SaaS apps to internally built, custom systems – and it empowers companies to manage that data in ways that respect customer wishes so that they can continue to build trust rather than see it wiped out the instant a mass email is sent.

Customer Experience and Data Privacy are Not Mutually Exclusive

Another reason I chose to join DataGrail is because data is essential to creating the compelling, personalized experiences that consumers want. Sharing data with a company shouldn’t be viewed as a “bad” thing when it can elevate an experience into something special. But people shouldn’t have to choose between a great user experience and sacrificing control of all their personal information. There is a balance. DataGrail singularly stands out in terms of helping companies manage data in a responsible way that also allows for companies to deliver services that customers love.

DataGrail has built a platform that can help any company become a privacy advocate without jeopardizing its business. DataGrail enables companies to protect consumers and cultivate trust without sacrificing experience; it also conserves human resources for other important work by automating core processes.

In short, DataGrail recognizes that privacy is a human right that doesn’t have to be incompatible with business, and I can’t wait to help this team continue to expand its reach and capabilities.

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