If there’s one thing every modern business needs to succeed, it’s reliable data. But what do you do with it once you’ve got it?
Many businesses are so driven to get their hands on as much data as possible that they entirely forget about data management. As a result, their data is a mess. The good news is you can avoid following suit by implementing a data management strategy.
What is data management, exactly? We’ll explore why data management is essential, its benefits, and some best practices your organization should adhere to.
Defining data management
Data management is the process of gathering, organizing, storing, protecting, and, eventually, getting rid of data.
It’s all about adding structure to the information you collect. Think of your data management strategy as a playbook for analyzing information and obtaining actionable business insights. If there’s no rhyme or reason to the way you manage data, it won’t be very useful.
There are several different types of data management, including:
- Data processing
- Data storage
- Data governance
- Data security
- Data collection
- Data deletion
An effective data management strategy will address all of these functions and support critical business processes such as:
- Enterprise asset management (EAM)
- Contract management
- Product lifecycle management
- Budgeting and forecasting
Without a good data management game plan and quality analytics, the information your business collects is far less valuable. In some cases, it can even turn into a liability.
Why is data management critical? 4 benefits
There are many benefits of master data management. Here are just a few:
Organized data is like a trusted advisor: It informs your decision-making processes and strengthens your business strategy. Keep your data in great shape with a data management strategy.
Enhanced data quality
When you can’t trust your data, chaos ensues. Either you’ll make the wrong decision due to inaccurate data, or you’ll have to toss it out altogether and use your gut.
Although you may have great instincts, it’s nice to have quantifiable data backing up your conclusions. Data management makes your information more accurate and applicable so you can make calls with confidence.
Increased operational efficiency
When you rein in your unruly data, you achieve unprecedented business agility. Consequently, tasks get done faster, and employees enjoy greater productivity rather than wrestling with messy data.
Compliance and security
Data breaches are probably one of your worst nightmares — and understandably so. Fortunately, data management provides peace of mind by helping you keep your information out of the wrong hands.
3 challenges addressed by data management
Among other things, data management can help you overcome these prominent data-related challenges:
- Data overload: Are you drowning in a sea of data? Data management is the lifeline to help you pull yourself out of the information quagmire and achieve greater productivity.
- Hackers: Don’t let your business become the latest victim of hackers. Use data management to stop cybercriminals in their tracks.
- Data silos: When data is locked away in a particular application or department, productivity suffers across the board. Data management tears down the walls between applications and helps everyone work together.
Data management process: 4 steps
Data management can be broken down into four tasks, which are as follows:
- Data collection: First, you must gather data. You’ll also need to engage in data mapping to streamline your collection processes. This involves defining how data will be converted from one format to another.
- Data storage and organization: Next, you need to store and organize your data to make it more accessible.
- Data processing and analysis: Raw data often requires processing to extract meaningful insights. Data management includes cleaning and manipulation strategies.
- Data archiving and deletion: Finally, you need to archive your data. When it’s reached the end of its useful life, you can delete it to free up storage resources.
Data management best practices
Adhering to established best practices will help you overcome common data management challenges and promote overall business efficiency. When revamping your data management strategy, you should aim to do all of the following:
Get serious about data governance
Your data governance strategy outlines how your business gathers, stores, organizes, and manipulates data. This framework will help promote compliance while maximizing data usability.
When creating a governance strategy, consider implementing specific management information systems (MISs), including data capture, data processing, and data storage, so you can meet your business objectives.
Prioritize quality above quantity
Maintain your data integrity. Regular check-ups and cleaning ensure your information is reliable and valuable.
Implement robust security measures
Use encryption, access controls, and monitoring systems to keep your data out of the hands of hackers.
Systems integrations tear down data silos and allow your applications to share information, promoting collaboration between teams and keeping everyone on the same page.
Get your team up to speed
Keep your team up to speed on regulatory requirements, data security best practices, and your organization’s governance policies. Data management is a team effort; make sure everyone pitches in.
Hold yourself accountable
Conduct regular audits to confirm that your data management strategy is operating up to your standards. If it isn’t, reexamine your approach.
Adopt the latest data management solutions
A data management platform consolidates your business data, making life easier for everyone. That said, many different tools can unify, analyze, and manage your data.
At the top of the list is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. These modular solutions include multiple applications, each designed to meet a specific business need.
Make data management easier with Orderful
Efficient information gathering and sharing is foundational to any data management strategy. A modern communication tool, like Orderful’s API-powered electronic data interchange (EDI) platform, can help.
Speak with one of our experts today to learn more about Orderful and how it can make data architecture easier.