Data management is extremely important for a business organization. It impacts many features and processes, from product optimization view, process augmentation view, supply chain management view, data driven marketing view, budgeting view…you name it.
But, it is not easy – NOT at all!
Captured through multiple applications and systems – this may include your salesforce automation system, marketing automation system, supply chain system, CRM system etc., organizations struggle to maintain the quality of the captured data.
What follows is:
- A chaotic workflow, as employees search, mine and refine through the heaps of unorganized data sets which impacts an organization’s efficiency and productivity.
- A structuring of database that contains data, more data and some more data, without being of any value to the organization.
From a valuable component, that can help supplement a business’ workflow and help strengthen the process of decision making, data starts resonating with its intrinsic “laborious” element, which clouds all the goods that it has to offer.
… all because of poor data management practices.
This begs the question:
How to improve your data management practices?
To help you, we have compiled a list of some tips that can assist you in your endeavors.
Tip #1: Deploy a Core Data Management Team
The volume of data that you are managing is large. And the management tasks are aplenty.
You have to establish which data is important for your business. You have to capture the important data. You have to validate the captured data, store the validated data , protect the stored data, make the protected data accessible to authorized users, and analyze the accessible data.
These are your data management tasks.
You cannot designate them to one individual. You need a team of employees to execute these tasks, with every employee briefed in detail about their individual responsibility and how to successfully complete the assigned task.
This would be your core data management team that would work on synchronizing and streamlining different data management activities.
Tip #2: Know What is Important for Your Business
Not all data is important for your business. You need to manage the critical data and flush all the rest, i.e., the data which is of no use.
Poor quality data is a primary reason for strategic process failures.
To do this, it is better to breakdown data sets as per individual departmental needs. After all, it is your departments that capture this data. It is them who can better understand what is of value and what is of lesser or no value at all.
Does this promote a siloed approach?
Not really. The marketing data left out by the sales team, would still be captured by your marketing department. And, when needed, it can be communicated with your sales team.
The non-siloed approach is still there, it’s just that the data you are now capturing value centric information. Your scripters and analysts don’t have to waste hours dealing with poor data.
Tip #3: Establish Standard Data Entry Procedure and Protocol
One of the biggest malpractices concerning data management process is the lack of established standards on how the data is to be entered. The practice varies from department to department, and at worst, in some cases, from employee to employee.
When, there is no standard procedure about how the data is to be entered, non-uniformity is expected to translate in the structured format and its representation.
This makes it harder for the analysts who want to use the stored data to help optimize a process or a product.
Therefore, make sure that you enact standard data entry procedure and protocol into your data management strategy. And communicate these standards with all the employees.
Tip #4: Avoid Siloed Data Management Practices
Siloed data management practices are practices which are restricted to the inner workings of a department.
Sure, every department has its own unique data set to cater to,but business processes heavily rely on the elements of integration and collaboration.
For example, your sales department has a set of customer data. Your marketing department has a set of data that concerns business leads and prospects. Both the data sets are different. But, with myriad of touch points now characterizing a customer’s journey, your sales department cannot solely rely on the customer data set. They need the marketing intelligence as well to successfully close a sale.
Cross departmental accessibility is necessary. It is important to avoid siloed data management practices.
Tip #5: Make a Habit of Scrubbing Your Captured Data
With so many channels being leveraged for data acquisition and the dynamics changing so rapidly, it is evident that you will face issues of data redundancy.
- Multiple users may end up incorporating same information in a data base.
- An information that was worth millions a year ago, might not be of any value on the present day.
Your database will become redundant with time.
Marketscan states that business databases decay at a rate of over 40 percent annually.
This is why you need to implement a scheduled database maintenance program. It will help make sure that the outdated and duplicated data is removed and your database remains organized and up-to-date with only valuable information.
Tip #6: Make Sure Your Data is Safely Stored and Protected
It’s all good having valuable data – structured, organized and represented in a meaningful way. But, if your data management practices do not exercise safety and security measures to help protect the captured data, then these practices are incomplete.
Because data is important – ultra important, you need to protect it from external threats and internal threats.
You can regulate access to databases. You can secure your network nodes with firewall and security suites. You can deploy a DLP to monitor document movement within an organization. You can encrypt the stored data.
There are many solutions that you can use to make sure your data is safely stored and protected.
Tip #7: Backup, Backup and Backup
Lastly, don’t forget to create backups for your data. This would help protect your digital assets in case of a business disaster. The simple rule to follow is:
3:2:1 – Data Backup Rule.
This implies that you must have three copies of a data set, two should be stored on two different types of media, while one should be backed up at an offsite storage.
And remember to regularly test your backups to make sure that they are working.
By following these 7 Data Management Tips, you can improve your data management practices and shape up a strategy that delivers consistent quality results in all captured data sets. For more details get in touch with Noel Network & PC Services, Inc.