Who Should Get Data at Car Dealerships?

“All organizations must share some data,” says Paul Hockel of General Dynamics Technology. “But if it goes to the wrong people, that gets serious.”

Steve Finlay, Senior Editor

January 28, 2023

2 Min Read
data privacy graphic (Getty)
Providing access to data requires discretion, security expert says.Getty Images

DALLAS – Paul Hockel, a former U.S. Air Force Intelligence officer, talks about need-to-know data within any organization, including car dealerships.

“People don’t like to share classified information. That’s topical these days,” he quips, referring to classified government documents showing up on the properties of President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.  

Virtually every business seeking a competitive edge should rely on actionable data to make important decisions, be predictive and garner insights, but such information shouldn’t become widely accessible, he says during a presentation, “Mission Critical: Driving Data-Focused Growth in Your Business.”

Paul Hockel-Headshot-Edited-1.png

Paul Hockel-Headshot-Edited-1

Hockel (pictured, left), head of data and analytics at General Dynamics Technology, speaks at the American Financial Services Assn.’s annual Vehicle Finance Conference held here in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Assn. 2023 conference.

“Every company should be data-driven to a certain extent,” he tells Wards after his presentation. “In today’s world, if you are not using data for decision advantages, you will be left out and be obsolete.”

Modern car dealerships regularly collect and crunch data from their customer-relationship management systems.

That’s good, Hockel says, but he adds that much information should remain restricted to dealership employees who need it.

How does a dealership make sure a salesperson or an employee elsewhere in the organization doesn’t improperly tap into certain information?

“There is great technology these days with role-based security so you can control access to what types of information people can get,” Hockel says.

It makes sense for a salesperson to use certain CRM information to track a sales lead and stay engaged with a customer.

“Obviously, a salesperson would have different access than would someone who is the head of finance,” Hockel says. “You don’t have to change the data but instead create a role-based security model in which only people who need access to certain subsets of information get it.

“All organizations must share some data,” he adds. “But if it goes to the wrong people, that gets serious.”

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