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GDPR & Data Cleansing


GDPR & Customisable data cleansing

The client had a specific request for their Skyline job archive to retain all the past jobs that they had produced whilst ‘hiding’ GDPR sensitive data but still allowing them to find old jobs and information for research and reporting. The client had over eight years of completed jobs and well over sixty-four thousand jobs with associated records held in the database.

The problem

The client wanted to either remove data from the DB entry, encrypt it, or create a reference pointer (which would point to another data source) and each database requirement was slightly different within their print shop. They also only wanted to do this if the order was over one year old, or if a client had requested a removal. Common tools and systems to anonymise data or allow customisable schemes, such as a simple character offset routine for the email address, were either prohibitively expensive or did not allow for all the ways the client wished to manage their data.

How we fixed this

In this request, we could use the SQL tools within Skyline Automate to extract the data within specific columns and return data to that location having followed the appropriate action(s). We were able to locate and replace the email address with a simple ‘encryption’ routine that made the data within the database unusable without the mapping table. When it was time to run reports, the contents would be un-encrypted.

The next column was the ‘Client Name’ and the requirement was to use the first two characters from the first name and the first two from the surname rather than the full name. Each database and table could have a uniquely defined process, and locally modified to ensure business guidelines (data use and retention policies etc) were followed without losing the ability of the client to utilise the data for legitimate reasons.


  • The client had data they could continue to use and gain business intelligence

  • Business rules around data encryption and retention could be complied with, without the need for additional software

  • The client utilised this feature for databases outside of Skyline

  • Full reporting and workflow allowed the Client to show correct data handling procedures

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