The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Data Management Strategy
Nearly 75 percent of leaders say data-driven efforts have helped them boost their customer engagement.
In today’s digital age, data is being generated quite literally at the speed of light. These days, information moves as fast as the electrons that carry it, and with that information comes more data.
Any business or organization wishing to stay on the cutting edge has to be able to use this data to their advantage. But where do you start?
With so much data available, you need a good data management strategy to make sense of it all.
Below are a few tips to establish a great strategy that will keep you at the top.
A Brief Overview of Data Management Strategy
Let’s start with a brief review of what data is and what’s involved in data management. In this context, data is any fact or figure related to a business or its operations. Every day, we create more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, according to an IBM study.
Data management is how we process those 2.5 quintillion bytes. It sorts out the data, decides what is relevant, and makes it possible for businesses to use those numbers to grow. Without data management, all the data in the world is meaningless.
What this means for you is that having a data management strategy is crucial. Collecting data is not enough; you have to be able to use it effectively. Doing so can mean the difference between a successful business and a failure.
Know What You Need
The first step in establishing a data management strategy is to know what you need. Not all data is going to be relevant to you, even within your industry. If you’re a retail shop in a small town, you don’t really need information on sales rates in New York City.
Start by asking what it is you want to accomplish. If you’re going to broaden your customer base, you’ll want to look at demographic sales data, for instance. Figure out what your goals are and which questions need to be answered to make that happen.
Having a strong team of analysts is the backbone of your data management strategy. Once again, you can have the best data in the world, but if you don’t have anyone to interpret it, it won’t make a bit of difference. So start by identifying or hiring analysts for your team.
There are a few qualities you want to look for in a good data analyst. You want someone who is curious and loves exploring, as this job will mean a lot of digging through numbers looking for answers. You also want someone detail-oriented and who questions what they see enough to look past the surface.
Find Opportunities for Improvement
Once you have your analytics team in place, you’ll want to start looking for areas that could use improvement. Is there a sector of your business that has been flagging lately? Are there questions about your business that you don’t know the answers to?
Work with your team to identify these problem areas. Take careful notes, and try to find any patterns in these areas. Once you know what the problems are, you can begin to solve them.
Set Up a Data Warehouse
The next thing you’ll want to do in establishing your data management strategy is set up a data warehouse. The key to effective data management is being able to access the right data quickly and easily. A data warehouse allows you to do this.
Imagine it like a real warehouse filled with filing cabinets. If you have all your data filed properly and cross-referenced, and you have your filing cabinets organized well, and you have a floor plan identifying the filing cabinet locations handy, you’ll be able to find the information you’re looking for with ease. If not, it’ll mean sorting through thousands of files, a job that could take hours or days.
There are websites and software programs that function as data warehouses. You can hook them up to your data collection sources, and they will sort the data as best they can and provide it to you in a more usable form. Of course, you still need your analysts to sort through the data and make sense of it all.
When you’re building something as complex as a data management strategy, it can be easy to get lost in the weeds. Things get complicated very quickly, and it isn’t hard to wind up with a system that it takes years to learn. This, however, is counterproductive.
You want to make it easy to access your data, and for people not trained in your system to access it too. While you’re setting up your system, make sure you keep it user-friendly. Try to simplify things on the front end as much as possible while still maintaining the needed function.
Establish a Maintenance Plan
No matter how perfect a data management strategy is when you first develop it, it won’t stay that way. Over time, flaws will appear, and systems will get outdated. As your data volume increases, old protocols will start to break down.
Make sure you put a maintenance plan in place when you’re designing your system. Set a regular time when your team meets to review your strategy. When something stops working, replace it with a better system.
Get the Best Team on Your Side
Building a data management strategy is no easy task, but if you keep your goals clearly in mind, you’ll wind up with a system that works great for you.
The key is to keep everything organized and make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible. The most crucial step in this is making sure you have a good team at your back.
If you’re looking for help with your data management, reach out to us at Innovit. We help transfer content into growth, and since 2000, we have expanded to locations across the globe. Schedule a free demo today and see the difference we can make.