If you want to be successful in business, it's important to find innovative ways of achieving your goals. Many enterprises have data scattered all over the place without even realizing it! In order to succeed, you must have full control, awareness, and therefore optimization of your data. A good way to do this is by implementing a data management strategy. This strategy can help you determine how much data you need and how best to collect that information. It will also guide you through the process of collecting and organizing that data so that it becomes useful for decision-making purposes. Here are five warning signs that indicate your company needs a data management strategy:
You don’t have one definition of who your customer or vendor is.
Data management is about more than just making sure there's a clean and consistent set of data that everyone can access and use. It's also about knowing which data you need, where it comes from, what each piece means, and how it fits into the bigger picture - i.e. defining your target market.
A critical area data defines is who is your customer or vendor. If your data is scattered and coming from multiple sources, and one department is calling your customer one thing and another department has defined your customer another way based on the data they are receiving, then your company doesn’t truly know who you should be targeting. Clear consistent customer data is essential for aligning all departments.
You don’t know all of the different places where your business units are pulling data from.
This is a problem because it means that you don't know who has access to what data, and if they are using it correctly. It's also a problem because there are a lot of different sources of data which makes it difficult to manage and ensure accuracy.
Businesses often pull down or pull in data from central locations, but have no idea where that information originates from or if it's correct. This can lead to errors in reporting and analysis – which could cost your organization money!
You don’t know where the data is going and to whom.
A lack of visibility into your information flow means you can't be sure that it's being handled properly. This is a major security concern, since sensitive information may be traveling outside of your organization without any safeguards in place. For example, if you have a client marketing team sending customer history to a third party instead of sending an aggregated data set (like an anonymous list with no names attached), then there's no way for you to know what exactly has been released and where it might end up--and whether or not anyone involved had proper authorization for such action.
Reports are inaccurate.
If you're relying on a report that was generated by one person, it's difficult to ensure accuracy. For example, if the leadership team has been given 4 different values for what the last quarter's performance was, reports can't be defended and you won't know which data source is correct. The business doesn't know how to source it because 4 units came up with their own numbers.
If you're not sure where to start, the first thing to do is get everyone on the same page.
You can’t pinpoint data ownership.
Data ownership is an important concept in data governance. It's also essential for data quality, security and sharing. If you can't pinpoint who owns your enterprise data--and what their responsibilities are--you'll struggle to enforce policies and procedures that protect it from misuse or loss.
If you don't know the answers to one, some or all of these questions, then it's time to revisit your existing data management strategy or put together a new data management strategy. A data management strategy is a crucial part of any business in today's economy. If you're feeling overwhelmed or looking for more information on this topic, contact Comerit today! We are a team of data experts and analysts that know exactly what data management strategy your enterprise needs.