Assessments: Quickstart Guide

A keystone of a company’s privacy program is the ability to find and mitigate risk in their data operations. Assessments allow companies to systematically identify, analyze, and minimize the data protection risks of a specific vendor, data system, project, or plan. It is a key requirement of GDPR and U.S. state regulations, and will help you demonstrate compliance with data protection obligations.

Assessments in Transcend allow you to operationalize your assessments process as well as integrate it directly into your Data Inventory & ROPA reporting process.

You can find Assessments in the sidebar navigation of Transcend’s Admin Dashboard under "Risk Intelligence".

Assessments tab in the sidebar menu

In order to get started with Assessments, you will first want to create your templates.

Templates are reusable questionnaires that can be associated with different assessment cycles in order to capture information about certain processes, products, or vendors across your organization.

If you'd like to import your own template, follow the instructions here

To create your first template, click on the Templates tab and then New Template at the top right corner. This will open the Template Editor.

Here you can configure a title and description for the template, highlighting how the assessment should be used.

From here, the next step is to create sections. Sections are used to organize questions thematically and make assessments easier to review.

New Template View

To get started creating sections, click on + Add New Section at the bottom left corner, which will prompt you to provide a title for the section.

You will also see that the new section has been added to the sidebar, and that a new button to add questions has appeared.

New Template Section View

Clicking on + Add New Question will create questions within that section.

You can now create your first questions. From this view you can select the question type to be used, add a helper text, or mark the question as required.

New Template Question View

In addition to the above, you can configure questions to show or hide based on the answers provided in previous questions, by clicking on Advanced Settings and then Add Logic

Please note that the "Show / Hide Logic" can only work based on questions in the same section, and cannot be added to the first question of a section.

New Question, Advanced Settings, Add Logic view

Continue with the steps above until you are happy with your template. You can then save the template by clicking on Save & Publish or on the kebab menu icon for more save options.

Once saved, you can click on Preview to preview how the questionnaire will look to respondents.

New Template Save & Publish or Preview view

Once saved, you can navigate back to the Templates view to see your newly created template!

Next, we will cover how to use these templates to request assessment responses.

Once you have created your desired templates, you can navigate to Assessments to create your new assessment.

Assessments can be organized according to their needs. To get started, click on the New Assessment button at the top right corner.

New Assessment view

You will then be prompted to add a name, description, and to associate your desired template to this new assessment.

These fields will be used to organize your assessments according to your needs, so make sure to use specific titles and descriptions.

New Assessment Modal

You will now see a new row has been added to the Assessments table. Click on that row to access the assessment screen. From here, you can assign and send your assessment to your desired respondents.

Request Assessment view

If you'd like to send a single copy of the assessment to several respondents, click on Request Assessment. If you'd like to send several copies of the assessment to several respondents, click on the kebab menu icon and select Request Multiple Assessments.

Request Assessments single copy view

Once you click on Send Invites, new rows for each copy of the assessment will be created within the Assessments table, and the respondents selected will receive an email requesting their responses to the assessment.

Email prompt to respond to assessment

Once the respondent receives the email requesting their responses, they will be directed to their copy of the assessment to provide responses.

New Respondent view

Once the respondents have completed the assessment and click on Submit Assessment, the status will change to In Review and a notification will be sent to the reviewer that a new response is ready to be reviewed.

Submit responses modal

Within the Assessments tab, the reviewer is able to click into the row corresponding to the assessment, and review each individual copy quickly and easily.

First, hover over the desired row, and then click on the View Responses button that appears.

Assessment hover, view responses button visible

This button will open the assessment, including their questions and provided responses, in a modal - allowing quick review of each answer.

Additionally, the reviewer can click on General Comments, where you will be able to leave general comments about the response provided.

Modal to review responses on an assessment

The reviewer can then click on the Comment button next to any question and leave specific comments about the answers if desired.

Leave comments to responses

Next, scroll to the bottom and decide whether to Approve, Reject, or to Request Changes.

When requesting changes, the respondent will see all the question-level comments that have been left to adjust their answers appropriately.

Finally, once the respondent has adjusted their answers, the reviewer will once again be notified and be able to review the updated assessment before deciding to approve, reject, or leave additional comments.

For customers who perform assessments on items in their data inventories, you can track the status of each assessment in the appropriate section of your inventory.

For example, you can connect a copy of your "Vendor Risk Assessment" to your Salesforce data silo, in order to track the status of that specific vendor assessment.

To do so, you will first need to navigate to Custom Fields and click "Add New Custom Field"

Add new custom field button view

Include a title and description, select the tables where you'd like the status to appear, and select the Custom Field Type Assessments. Now you'll be able to use the drop down on the right to select the template you'd like to keep track of.

Configure new custom field

Once you have selected your desired template, you can save your changes and navigate to the tables you selected to see that a new column has been created for the new custom field.

Clicking on any cell under that column will let you select the corresponding assessment that is based on the template you selected.

Data Inventory > Custom Field view

Once you are happy with the assessments you have selected, you'll be able to track their status as it changes directly from the Data Inventory.

The icon on the left of each assessment represents its current status between Draft, Pending, In Review, Changes Requested, Accepted or Rejected.

Data Inventory > Custom Fields Selected view

That's it! You have successfully created, assigned and reviewed your first assessments within Transcend.