The 21st-century world of business is one that is all about data – more so now than ever before. While your company may collect a lot of data, the successful management of it is vital. Otherwise, you simply won’t be using it as effectively as possible. With ever-changing technology, you need to stay on top of data management – now more than ever. There are several different strands involved in successful data handling, and this article is going to be discussing the key aspects in this area.
Set Out the Goals of Your Business
Before you begin any major project, it is always a good idea to outline the goals that you have in mind. This is simply down to the fact that they will help provide you with a roadmap and a clear travel direction. Without doing this, you will be collecting data without a clear idea of what you are going to do with it. As well as customer information, you should also think about other data such as managing your brand’s images.
If you are struggling for goals that you might set in place for your company, there are several different examples that could prove to be useful. Perhaps you are looking to improve your decision making or boost your automation. Alternatively, you may be looking to target your audience better or find out more information about your customers’ buying habits. Another example of a useful goal is to train your sales and marketing team to use data in an effective manner. While you may want to achieve a combination of these different goals, it is a good idea to focus on one or two primary targets. You can put the rest as secondary goals.
Make Data Protection and Security a Priority
When you are managing data, you have a certain duty of care and protection in looking after it. Your customers are putting a certain level of trust in you, and the last thing that you want to do is to let them down. Data breaches are happening with increasing regularity as more and more criminals are looking at the world of hacking and online fraud. When you are using data management software, make sure that it complies with all regulations and has a positive reputation in the marketplace. There is no point compromising or trying to cut corners in this particular area.
Also, you should put in place a plan of action in case the worst should happen, and a data breach happens to occur. While you may hope that this will never occur, it is better to plan for the worst.
Focus on the Quality of the Data
Not all data is created equal.
Essentially, this means that you want to put a high level of focus on the quality of the data and not just the quantity. There is no point in collecting vast amounts of information if it does not provide a natural boost to your company. First of all, the data needs to be properly checked for its accuracy. The last thing you want is for the data to be old and outdated. If this occurs, it can negatively impact your analytics and other areas. You also need to put in place a clear team training exercise that shows the way in terms of collecting and inputting data. Anyone who is involved in this area needs to receive the proper training. Remember, your organization is only as strong as your weakest team member. Data should be both checked and cleaned before it is used in any analytical exercises. This ensures that everything you collect has the twin advantages of being both reliable and clean.
Delete Duplicate Data
Ideally, you want all the data that you are collecting to be fresh and original. You may find yourself picking up some duplicates along the way, so it is important that you take action against this particular problem. Ensure that your company has the proper process in place to stop duplicate data from entering your systems. Without this system in place to keep your data clean, you can end up getting several conflicting messages, which can end up having a negative impact on your business operation as a whole.
Make Sure That Data is Readily Accessible to Those Who Need it
There is no point in having data that is buried away and cannot be easily drawn out. Nobody without the proper permissions should be able to gain access to customer data; however, you also need the key members of your organization to be able to access what they need without too much trouble. Permissions should be accessible depending on the login information required. Some people in your business may have higher levels of clearance than others. Setting up different permission levels is a good idea. Blanket restrictions can have problems of their own.
Have a Plan for Data Recovery
Somewhere along the way, your data may become compromised. While you don’t want this to happen, it is always better to have a plan for the worst. Get into the habit of regularly exporting your data as this serves to back it up on an external hard drive or a cloud-based service. If all your data is backed up, you are ready to access it again at the drop of a hat.
Use Reliable Data Management Software
While it may seem obvious to say it, any data management software that you do use should be reliable. They say that data is like gold these days, and you wouldn’t lock away gold bars in a safe with broken hinges! As well as being secure, your data management software also needs to be easy enough to use for all of the different members of staff who may need to access it.
Businesses of all kinds are managing unprecedented amounts of data these days. Therefore, having a clear plan for its successful protection and utilization should be made a priority.