The age of data- How businesses should effectively manage their data

In the age of data, is your business missing out great opportunities due to poor data management strategies? When data is the new currency for business, and it’s the heart of competitiveness in the corporate ecosystem, you need to learn how to manage your data effectively. 

Today, more than ever, the ability to manage tons of data is critical to any company’s success. Yet, many studies show that on average, less than half of a company’s data is actually used in decision-making processes. What’s more, less than 1% of a company’s unstructured data is looked over or used. 

But that’s not all! It seems that some companies are still not fully aware of how important asset data is these days. Data shows that 70% of employees can access data that they shouldn’t have access to.

The good news, however, is that using analytics is no longer available only to big market players that have deep pockets. Data shows that 59% of enterprises are using analytics in some capacity. And, according to a survey from Deloitte, 49% of respondents claim using data for better decisions, 16% of them use it to enable key strategic initiatives better, while 10% say that using data helps them improve relationships with their customers and business partners. 

Yet, although data is so important for a business’s success, some companies are still struggling with managing it effectively. In fact, it seems that 80% of analysts’ time is spent on discovering and preparing data, which, in a world where time is money, doesn’t sound very effective. 

Here’s how to effectively manage your business data: 

Figure out your business goals

Today, businesses are bombarded with tons of data every day, be it customer, business, marketing, or other types of data. That’s why it can be a real challenge to properly analyze, store, protect, or use all of it. 

So, the first step towards a better data management strategy is to start by outlining your business goals in order to know what data is and what isn’t relevant for your business. 

Say, for example, that you want to improve customer relationships. You’ll obviously have to focus more on customers and sales data. This will help you find customer buying habits and patterns, as well as customers’ preferences when it comes to marketing. 

Other goals your business might have include:

  •         Improving decision-making
  •         Creating or improving automation and processes
  •         Creating a buyer persona
  •         Improving your marketing strategy 
  •         Increasing revenue

Based on what you plan to do with your business, you will identify the data you need and focus on effectively managing it. This way, your business won’t end up with tons of data that is actually irrelevant to your business’s needs. 

Prioritize data protection and security

Business data can be one of the greatest risks when it is left unprotected. 

Like it or not, cyber criminals are on the rise over the past few years since business data became more and more essential for companies worldwide. And, make no mistake, not only big companies are targeted. Even small companies, regardless of their industry, can be a victim of data breaches and cyberattacks. 

And, if you don’t realize how much of an impact a cyber attack can have, let us tell you: 60% of small businesses fail within half of the year of a cyberattack. 

So, you may want to take data security more seriously. 

Proper data management tools can help ensure the safety and security of your data. Also, make sure that your employees only have access to the data they need to do their job. What’s more, it is also a good idea to have some sort of strategy for how to handle a potential breach. 

Focus on data quality

We’ve already discussed how much data your business needs to handle these days and how challenging this can be. But, limiting your data to only the data relevant to your business goals isn’t the only way to ensure data quality. 

You should also regularly check your data for accuracy because old data can wreak havoc in your sales and marketing strategies. 

Another strategy to ensure data quality would be to make sure that all your team members are trained in handling data so that you don’t lose any critical information. Also, training your employees to manage data helps keep data from being input incorrectly, which prevents a lot of problems down the line. 

Use data integration solutions

Data integration sounds like rocket science for everyday business users. But the good news is that, now, there are a lot of data integration solutions that give everyday business users more hands-on access to the data, typically without them needing the direct intervention of the IT team. 

On average, an enterprise service provider spends between 8 to 18 weeks to onboard new customer data. Once again, in a world where time is money, this can mean a lot of lost customers. B2B integration solutions can help businesses make customer data onboarding process faster by up to 80%, from months to minutes. By using a self-service approach, these solutions empower all business users onboard complex customer data feeds without overreliance on IT. As an IT specialist from Adeptia explains, “Using self-service-powered data integration solutions, business users can integrate disparate data from different sources in minutes for enabling better decision-making and ultimately revenue growth.”

Reduce duplicate data

Your company can receive a lot of duplicate data which will decrease the quality of it. 

For example, if a lead shows interest in multiple lead magnets or offers or if a customer returns to your business and makes another purchase, you may end up having duplicate data about them. 

So, make sure that you create a system that allows your data to be changed or updated, but never duplicated. This is another step to take to make sure that your business data stays clean. 

Have a data recovery strategy in place

Whether it is an accident or the plan of a hacker, all businesses are at risk of losing their data. Thus, having a data recovery strategy in place is absolutely essential. 

You can have a file with all your information saved on a hard drive or upload your most essential data to a cloud service such as Google Drive to keep it safe there. 

 

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