Effective data management keeps your business running like a well-oiled machine. Do you have a data management system in place?
If you don’t, it’s time you did. But where do you start?
First, you need to understand some basic things about the data management process. Keep reading for ten things that will help you get a good start.
1. You Need a Strategy
Data management involves a lot of work, even if you aren’t doing it all yourself. To make it work as well as possible, you need a strategy-and that doesn’t mean throwing everything in a pile.
At the very least you should have a plan for how to handle each type of data. Whether that means separating data sets into spreadsheets or using something more advanced, you need to have a plan.
If you don’t plan each aspect of your data management, you’ll just end up with a mess. And important information may fall between the cracks.
2. Planning Earlier Is Better
You may not think about data management as you start up your business. But implementing a data management system as early as possible is best.
If you jump into things without managing your data, things will get more and more complicated for you. If you’ve been operating for a while, you can start now. But you’ll have a harder time gathering and organizing your data than if you’d just started out.
If you’re starting a new business, get your data management processes figured out before you even have data to work with.
3. Some Data Isn’t Important
At least, some data isn’t as important as other data. Keep this in mind when storing data. Efficient data storage is part of good data management.
Think of the data you’ll need access to most often. Store that data in easily-accessible storage locations.
For example, don’t store important day-to-day data in a location that requires a lot of clicks to reach. Instead, file away the data you don’t need as often and keep the data you need front and center.
This will help limit wasted time and make it easier to manage data that’s regularly needed.
4. You Need to Consider Security
Storing your data is only one aspect of data management. You’ll need to keep several other things in mind. Security should be at the top of your list.
Data security is increasingly important as more and more companies get hacked. No customer likes finding out their information has been compromised. No business does either.
Take precautions against security breaches. Make these precautions a regular part of your on-going data management.
5. You Need a Destruction Plan
You don’t need to keep all data forever. To avoid keeping data unnecessarily, have a data destruction plan in place.
Get rid of files you don’t need on a pre-determined, regular basis. This may include files on employees who haven’t worked for the company in ten years.
Make sure you have a way to recover lost data if you accidentally delete the wrong files.
6. Sharing Protocols should be in Place
There’s a good chance you probably share some of the data you store. That may mean sharing a report with a regional manager or sending each employee a copy of new safety measures.
However, you choose to share data, make sure you have some protocols in place. Employees should know the rules when it comes to data security and sharing, and you should follow them too.
Will data be shared via email, the cloud, or thumb drive? That probably depends on the data’s security level and location. Decide on a system that works for your business.
7. Have a Document Storage Plan
Devise an intuitive way to store all important documents for your business. This applies to both digital and paper documents.
Store like things with each other. Ensure each file is easy to find for whenever it’s needed. Your storage system should make sense, whether it’s in a physical storage cabinet or in the cloud.
8. It Can Be Simple
When managing your data, remember that bigger isn’t always better. Don’t complicate your system more than you need to.
If you use a data management software program you may be tempted to find some way to use every tool the software provides. If you don’t need a tool, don’t make up a reason to use it.
Streamline your data management as much as possible. You can keep it simple. There’s no reason to add more work for yourself when it doesn’t need to be there.
9. It May Be Time to Update
Even if you’ve been managing your data with a great system, there may be something even better out there. Technology is constantly changing, so you’ve got to keep up with it.
The market is full of innovative tools for data management. Research what options are available to see what’s best for you.
You may find that your existing system is perfect. Or you’ll find out there’s a better fit.
10. It Saves Time
Setting up a data management takes time and effort, especially if you’re working with a lot of existing data. The end result, though, will be worth what it took you to get there.
Once you’ve got your system up and running, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. When your data is managed efficiently, you have more time to devote to other things.
If you’ve done things right, you won’t have to worry about spending an hour searching for the file you need any more.
Setup Your Data Management Process Today
Data management is extremely important to the success of your business. It keeps it running smoothly and lets you focus on other important things. If you don’t have a data management process already in place, start setting one up today.
We’d love to help you set up a system that works for you and your company. Click here to see how we can help.