For modern companies, data could very well be their lifeblood. Most, if not all, businesses depend on data. It’s one of their most important assets. However, if data is mismanaged and put at risk, it can also be a source of their weakness. Particularly if you consider that every day, the data collected by companies increase exponentially.
Do you know how much data is collected by companies each day? A lot. Facebook alone handles 4 petabytes (about 4 million gigabytes) worth of data every day. Additionally, internet users generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. That’s 2,500 petabytes. So, yes, with the volume of data alone, handling it can be challenging.
This is especially true for smaller businesses that depend on reports from software platforms that are used for their day-to-day operations. Eventually, things can get disorganized. Data sets can get misplaced or replication could arise. That’s why businesses need data management–data needs to be securely and effectively organized.
Data Management Overview
Regardless of the size of your company or whatever industry you belong to, your business holds a lot of essential data. With data management, you’ll have a better way of obtaining, storing, securing, and accessing your data. Additionally, having an efficient data management system is a huge part of your IT system, especially when it to comes to using applications. It could also provide accurate and useful data to your business analytics tools.
Efficient data management can provide information and insights that help your company make decisions regarding its marketing campaign, planning, and day-to-day operation.
Better Data Management Tips
Data management isn’t just storing and backing up your data. You need to have a system of organizing and managing your source of information in place, otherwise, you might be under-utilizing data that could help your business grow. Inefficient data management could result in time and effort being wasted searching for misplaced data. It could also result in unnecessary replication.
Below is a list of tips on how to have efficient data management:
Keep in mind that projects have a better chance of succeeding if team members have good communication and easy collaboration. If you’re using spreadsheet tools like Google Sheets, having an efficient and coherent folder structure is a good start. At the very least, your spreadsheet should have separate folders, where your raw data sets belong. These separate folders should also be in a folder for your top-level project.
This way, your raw data sets will be easily accessible. Moreover, as your project progresses, your files can be copied or moved from one folder to the next one.
As your project expands, having a well-organized spreadsheet is essential. So, when adding or editing data in your spreadsheets, make sure your team does it carefully and meticulously, including how they change date format in google sheets.
Avoid Creating Data Silos
If your employees are having trouble locating a particular data, there’s a possibility that the ‘missing’ data could be hidden in a data silo. A data silo is created when a stored data is available only to one or a few people. Thus, when other team members or groups need to access the data, they’d find themselves locked out. This is the opposite of collaboration.
One of the things that cause this is the company culture. A company might have departments or teams that constantly compete with each other with enmity. In such an atmosphere, one group might decide not to share the data that could make others’ jobs easier.
Data silos could also happen in big corporations, where employees are typically separated by several layers of administrative and specialized personnel. In circumstances like these, data is likely to remain in the hands of a few people or groups and is unlikely to be shared with other personnel who might find the information useful in their work.
Technological barriers could also cause the creation of data silos. When different departments use different software, data often is difficult to share or be cross-referenced. This typically happens in health care where facilities employ different health record platforms, resulting in a delay in sharing patient information.
Removing data silos could take a lot of work, but the sooner you can take steps to remove this bane in data management, the better. To start, you could identify the systems and processes that enable data silos to proliferate. Consult your workers about their concerns about data management. Adopt a collaborative workplace philosophy, like DevOps, to foster teamwork and make data silos obsolete.
You could also institute an audit on your team’s data acquisition methods and management processes. Gather information regarding the systems that are in place, as well as the personnel that uses them. This way, you could start to implement a unified data management system.
Make Data Sharing Easy
Your data should be shareable, stored in a standardized format, and under one single system. Data that can’t be shared is pretty much useless to you and your organization.
Remember, for data to be useful, they must be shared and disseminated. Set up an information-sharing method as part of your data management technique. Ask a few questions, such as:
- What data are the teams creating?
- Who should have access to this data?
- How can this data be accessed or shared?
- Does the data have confidential information?
- Should access to the data be restricted? If so, how?
If you find the data that needs to be disseminated is stored in different systems, it’s time to integrate your data in a data warehouse and have your tools streamlined.
Establish A Data Management Team
Make data management somebody’s responsibility. This way, you’ll have accountability. This means procedures to streamline data management will be instituted.
It’s one thing to talk about improving data management, but to effectively implement the changes, you should have a small team of data specialists, headed by a chief data officer, to focus on handling data and making sure that best practices in data management principles are observed.
The exponential growth of data that companies collect makes data management challenging. However, data management is more than collecting and storing data. It’s a process of obtaining, storing, securing, and accessing data.
Efficient data management could give you insights into your marketing campaign, help you make well-informed decisions, formulate plans, and others that could help your company grow.
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