What are Data Use Cases?

What's a Data Use Case?

Put simply, a Data Use Case is a business purpose for which data is collected, transformed, processed, or stored. It is the term Ethyca uses to refer to what GDPR calls Data Processing Activities and CCPA refers to as the building blocks of Data Inventory. To comply with regulation, many companies define a similar term in their Data Processing Addenda.

A Data Use Case is the primary unit that Ethyca uses to map flows of data in your business. Ethyca builds your data map by by visualizing all the different systems in all the different Data Use Cases for your business. In the data map example below we show how a single Use Case can include multiple data integration and data lifecycle phases.


How Do I Create Data Use Cases in Ethyca?

Once you've created an account with Ethyca, you'll be prompted to create Data Use Cases for your organization. Each one is a descriptive name of the business purpose for which your organization uses certain data. Some common examples may include "SMS Marketing", "Payment Processing" or "Account Management".


Next, you'll fill in details about each Data Use Case, and by doing this, you'll give Ethyca the information it needs to plot your business data map. The required fields you'll need to fill out are:

Consent Required?Does this DUC require consent from users in order to be executed?
Personal Data FieldsWhat fields of personal data are involved in the execution of this DUC?
Data Lifecycle Field(s)What phases of data’s journey through your business does this DUC touch? You can learn more about classifying Data Lifecycle phases here.
Opt-In Required?As a second layer on top of the consent question, does this DUC require users to actively opt into the use of their data in order to be executed?

Creating or Modifying Use Cases in Ethyca's Control Panel

Ethyca's self-service onboarding flow will prompt you to set up Data Use Cases, but if you're part of a large business, it's unlikely you'll be able to configure all the different ways your business uses data in one sitting.

Luckily, you can also create Data Uses Cases from the control panel in Ethyca's app. In the Control Panel interface, you'll see the same field options from above, along with a section for adding consent flags to the Data Use Case.

Consent flags are linked to users' consent preferences in your company's dedicated Privacy Center. If a user withdraws consent from an activity on the flag list - say "Marketing "SMS" - their data will no longer be used in this Data Use Case.