Nonprofits and Data

last person joined: 3 days ago 

This group is for those interested in learning and sharing about all things data-related for nonprofits. The Nonprofits and Data group is for people using data to serve a mission, either directly or by improving nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. That includes everything from collecting data and managing databases to analytics, data visualization and data mining. Here are some examples of topics we discuss: using data to improve organizational effectiveness, measuring impact, using data for storytelling, tools for data management and analysis, figuring out the “right” data to collect, and learning skills to help us use data better.

Data Studio - Data Ownership & Privacy Concerns?

  • 1.  Data Studio - Data Ownership & Privacy Concerns?

    Posted Apr 29, 2019 20:18

    Hello all,

    This is my first time posting to this group!!! I've been interested for a while and met a number of you at NTC19 in Portland. Excited to hear from everyone's experience.

    I'm looking to move our reporting/metrics into a more powerful, automated data analysis tool. I'm looking at Tableau & Google Data Studio right now, mostly because they're inexpensive, accessible, and relatively straightforward. I found this and this old thread, but had some follow up questions. If anyone has experience in this, I'd love to hear from you!

    1) Are there any privacy concerns with using Data Studio for data analysis? I'm thinking of plugging it directly into our SQL databases where we keep contact information, volunteer history, engagement activity, potentially donation records, etc.

    2) Does Data Studio save data in the cloud? Or does it pull in data via queries every time a report is accessed?

    3) Does using Data Studio give Google ownership of any our data?

    I'm reading through Data Studio's licensing & agreements, etc, but it's very jargon-y. If anyone has gone through this at their organization, let me know!



    ------------------------------
    Joe Bobman
    (pronouns: he/him/his)
    Technology & Engagement Manager
    Food Forward
    Los Angeles, CA
    ------------------------------
    Tech Accelerate


  • 2.  RE: Data Studio - Data Ownership & Privacy Concerns?

    Posted Apr 30, 2019 10:53
    Edited by Medha Nanal Apr 30, 2019 10:55
    Hi Joe,

    I've evaluated and occasionally used Data Studio  and am familiar with cloud-based systems in general (have developed a few software products in my previous life). Based on my understanding, here are my answers: First off, tools, especially Tableau and Data Studio etc. develop all the time and this information is certainly time sensitive for that reason.

    - To answer the question related to privacy concerns, I need to understand what privacy needs you have. If your data is required to comply with privacy acts like HIPAA (which pertains to confidential health information), then you cannot share that data with another cloud/company without an explicit Business Associate Agreement, and need to have prescribed levels of audit etc. in place. Google Data Studio does not have it by default, and I am not aware if they would sign a BAA upon request.

    Based on your description, your needs are fairly simple, something to do with privacy related to ethics. In this case, your data will be visible only to you, and not to other tenants in the cloud. In this sense, it is private.

    - In order to generate visualizations in the cloud, data must be pulled in and kept in the cloud. Therefore, in this sense, data leaves your system and gets temporarily stored in the cloud. This will most likely get flushed out after a specific period. This information should be available on google website or by tech support/product forums.

    - Ownership of data is a hairy discussion. Simply put, no. No company asks for ownership of data but there's enough discussion out there on how Googles and Amazons use private data for their own analytics. Therefore, there are sly ways in which the companies use the data they obtain. My suggestion is that you should be clear about what level of data sharing you are ok with. Sometimes, any sort of sharing is prohibited (e.g. for HIPAA case). Sometimes, some sharing might be ok as long as nobody except you and Google see it :-).

    Hope this helps.

    ------------------------------
    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
    ------------------------------

    Tech Accelerate


  • 3.  RE: Data Studio - Data Ownership & Privacy Concerns?

    Posted May 20, 2019 18:32

    Thanks Medha, this is definitely very helpful. It also matches up with guidance I heard from a few other people in the space. Sounds like it's time for a review of our data & privacy policy!

    Thanks again, I hugely appreciate it.
    best,

    Joe



    ------------------------------
    Joe Bobman
    (pronouns: he/him/his)
    Technology & Engagement Manager
    Food Forward
    Los Angeles, CA
    ------------------------------

    Tech Accelerate


  • 4.  RE: Data Studio - Data Ownership & Privacy Concerns?

    Posted May 21, 2019 20:03

    Hi Joe,

    We develop custom realtime data dashboards for many of our clients in Power BI, Tableau, and Data Studio. Most of our clients use Data Studio.

    You mention connecting directly to your SQL databases. Do note that the MySQL connector currently doesn't support JOINS! You can do a custom query on the whole database in your connector configuration, e.g. http://www.datacisions.com/data-studio-hack-connecting-to-the-wordpress-mysql-database/

    Sharing is really easy in Data Studio. Maybe too easy. Like any other google doc, the world can be granted access. Consider putting restrictions on who can share reports. You can prevent gSuite organization users from sharing outside their domain as a whole, but that is often impractical if you work with other orgs, or members of your board don't have org emails.

    Data is cached, but you can manipulate that:
    https://support.google.com/datastudio/answer/7020039?hl=en

    Access to a report doesn't grant users access to the data source.

    Good luck in your quest. Happy to help more if you need us.



    ------------------------------
    Andrew Mallis
    CEO & founder @ www.kalamuna.com
    Oakland, CA
    mallis@kalamuna.com
    925-255-5204 x700
    ------------------------------

    Tech Accelerate