Configuring the Data Spec

Available to:
TerraTrue Administrators

Configuring the Data Spec

Data Specs are quick workflows that help you document how a launch collects, uses, retains, and shares personal data. Data Specs are flexible and can support a variety of use cases. TerraTrue offers two out of the box Data Specs available for use:

  • Controller Data Spec - typically used for B2C use cases
  • Processor Data Spec - typically used for  B2B use cases

TerraTrue admins can determine if/when a specific data spec is available for end users. To enable a data spec, navigate to Workflow Library > Data Spec. From here you have the ability to:

  • Edit the Data Spec with the Data Spec Builder
  • Publish/Unpublish a Data Spec - note, at least one Data Spec must be active at any time
  • Make Default - this will determine what a user sees when they arrive in the launch summary. Either the Controller or Processor DataSpec can be made the default.

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Note: The Controller Data Spec is often referred to as simply Data Spec. 


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What is the Data Spec Builder?

The Data Spec Builder is similar to the Workflow Builder and allows you to customize your organization’s Data Spec.

By default, the Data Spec is a comprehensive questionnaire that gathers information to power your reviews. With the Data Spec Builder, you can add additional questions, pages, and custom actions. You can also edit the descriptions and context clues of pre-existing Data Spec questions.

Structure of the Data Spec Builder

To access the Data Spec Builder, visit Workflow Library > Data Spec.

Pages & Questions 

The Pages & Questions section is a key portion of the Data Spec Builder. 

The Data Spec contains six pages and several standard questions that need to be answered by any user completing a Data Spec. These standard questions cannot be edited or removed from the builder. You can, however, edit the descriptions of these standard questions and customize the context clues.

You can also add new questions directly to the existing Data Spec pages or add new pages entirely to capture important information for subsequent reviews. 

When adding new pages or questions, consider how they’ll fit into the existing Data Spec structure and whether they’ll need new pages or questions added around them.

You can decide where these questions will appear on each page by dragging and dropping them into place.



Custom Actions

As with other custom workflows, you can assign custom actions to questions within the builder. See Automating TerraTrue with custom actions to learn more about configuring custom actions.

Page/Question Description

Providing additional details in the Description section of any pages or questions is an optional but beneficial feature that allows you to provide context to those completing the Data Spec.add_context_to_description.png



To allow users to add new taxonomy items in-line while completing the Data Spec, you can do so on a per-question basis by selecting any standard question and checking the Allow new box.DS_taxonomy_settings.png

Basics page

Users can hide the launch goal question in the Controller Data Spec. This can be done by disabling the “Basics” page when editing your Data Spec in Data Spec Builder.


Consent page

Depending on the type of launch, consent may not need to be tracked.  Toggle this setting to disable the Consent page and hide it from the Data Spec.

Data Retention

As a default option, the Data Spec allows you to capture information about the retention period for specific data types selected. This question can be made optional by disabling the toggle in the Data Spec builder.

Additionally, the data retention question can also be configured to be visible only to reviewers. To achieve this, go to the data types question in Data Spec builder, scroll to the “Data Retention” section and choose options “Show data retention questions in the Data Spec” followed by “Only show data retention questions to reviewers”




If you have a launch creation workflow (screener) that captures similar responses to the question in the data spec, you can pre-populate those answers. 

When this setting is enabled, TerraTrue will automatically map questions from the screener to the data spec when these conditions are met:

  • There is a matching 'Taxonomy' question type in a Launch Creation Workflow (i.e. you've added the Data Subjects taxonomy question which prompts people to indicate whose data is involved)
  • The title of the matching question has no more than a 10-character difference from the question in the Data Spec. 

If a question in the launch creation workflow meets this criteria and you have enabled pre-population, then the Data Spec will have the corresponding answer prefilled with a "Pre-populated" label. 

What can I do with the Data Spec Builder?

Although the Data Spec is a comprehensive questionnaire aimed at providing the critical details necessary to complete privacy reviews, we recognize teams work in unique ways and may require additional details. Here are a couple of ways customers use the Data Spec Builder to simplify this process and collect more accurate information:

Get clarity on the scope of impact

Add additional questions anywhere in the workflow. For example, adding the question, “How many data subjects will be impacted?” to the Data Subjects page helps paint a clearer picture of the level of risk that may be involved in a launch. 

Provide external context

Add an external document to the description of your question. For example, you can use this space to include a brief description of the project and a link to an external Google Doc to provide team members with more in-depth information.


💡 Learn more about creating other custom workflows in these articles:
Using launch-creation workflows
How do I add a custom workflow to launch summaries?

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