If you’re in the business of marketing, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind each day when you get to work. There’s always something to be doing.
But in the jumble of daily to-dos, don’t forget the importance of data management. No matter the industry you’re marketing for, data is one of your most important assets.
And in order to have data, people have to trust you. Get them to trust you by implementing best practices as you manage their data.
What are data management best practices? Read on to learn five that you should know.
1. Use Data Ethically
If you’re going to be in the business of storing large amounts of data, you’ve got to be responsible with that data. This is especially true nowadays, thanks to the security breaches that have occurred in recent years.
Though data collected from customers doesn’t include any identifying information, it still has to be protected. And customers want to know that it is. Let them know how you collect anonymous information and how you use it.
Your privacy guidelines should always be enforced and maintained. Be as transparent as possible to customers. They’re smart and want to know what’s going on, so let them in on the upright job you’re doing.
Regularly assess how your data protection is going. Don’t let it slip through the cracks.
As you select partners, make sure you choose ones who share the same ethics as you. Choose those who take data security seriously and who will govern the gathered information well.
Create a persona for your company that consumers trust. When they trust you, they’ll feel comfortable providing data. If they don’t trust you, they won’t want to share anything.
2. Make Your Processes Last
When you get into data governance, you’re likely in it for the long haul. You have massive amounts of data you’re responsible for. You can’t just walk away from that.
Master data is constantly being created, used, and changed. Which means you’ve also got to stay on your toes to keep up with it. Make sure your processes are ever-changing as well.
If you just let your data sit it won’t do you any good. Don’t just leave a project when it’s launched. Doing so will deteriorate the system and cause you chaos in the long run.
Instead, make sure your data is regularly maintained and that quality is verified. You want your management system to stay up and running, so don’t neglect the information that keeps it going.
3. Continually Review Data
We just minorly touched on this point, but let us address it more fully. In order to have the best performance, you need to review your data regularly.
In the previous point, we mentioned maintaining data for quality. You’re doing the same thing here, but doing more with the information you see.
Don’t just look at the data you have. Perform audits of it. Master data means lots of information that can get jumbled, chaotic, and even lost. Prevent that from happening by checking your data, both old and new.
Nina Jacobson, Adobe Senior Consultant, suggests reviewing your data quarterly. Check data often will only help, not harm you.
4. Use Third-Party Data
The information you collect is helpful, but it can be even better. Get the best information by combining your first-person information with third-party data. Doing so will give you a better understanding of consumers.
Cookie data is great, but you can have even better stuff. Third-party information will add important puzzle pieces such as age, gender, and household income. By combining these types of information, you’ll get a better idea of who your customers are.
If you know your customers, you’ll be better able to provide them with an experience they enjoy. And that will keep them coming back for more.
5. Stay Organized
When handling large amounts of data, you’d better have a system in place to keep it organized. You especially need to make sure your master data is really the master data. Having multiple “masters” will only cause you problems.
Implement good organization standards. Always search for existing records before adding a new one. This will help eliminate, or at least limit, duplicate data sets.
Consider your collection of data.
How is it organized? Is it organized at all? If it’s not, what can you do to make the system better?
As more data comes in, make sure all records are as complete as possible. Don’t leave out any information that you can include. And do it that way every time.
Go for thorough, not minimalist. Handling each set of data the same way will help promote organization.
Data Management Best Practices: The Tip of the Iceberg
Ultimately there are many data management best practices, and each one should be taken into consideration. In this article, we’ve only listed five things, but each one of them is important.
When managing large amounts of data you must be responsible, whether your data includes sensitive information or not.
No matter what data you collect and use, consumers need to trust you. And they won’t if you misuse their data.
Consider how you can better organize your collection of data. Do you need to check your information more regularly? Do you need to implement more fluidity in your processes?
Don’t forget that processes need to be ongoing and repeatable. Keeping them that way will help keep your data management in orderly condition.
Good data management solutions shouldn’t be confined to a select few. Head to our website to learn about efforts to make these solutions available to everyone.