If you are trying to create an effective data management strategy for your business, there are things to know and do. Click here to learn more.
Depending on who you talk to, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil. It’s data. Companies have been so keen on collecting data, though, they haven’t given proper thought to how to manage it.
Having an effective data management strategy is more important than ever. As more data is created, you’ll need to do more to ensure it’s being used effectively in your business.
Some businesses don’t have a data management strategy in place yet. Others have one, but may find that it’s not as effective as it could be. If this describes your business’s situation, take heart. Creating an effective strategy for managing your data is simple when you have these tips.
An Effective Data Management Strategy Starts with Your Needs
One of the issues around managing data is how much there is. With today’s technology, you can collect more customer data than ever, all with relative ease.
The question then becomes, what data do you really need?
Asking this question is the first step in building an effective strategy. Do you need to collect information about which high school one of your leads attended?
To determine your business needs, talk to the stakeholders in your business. What information do sales and marketing find useful? What data does your financial team need?
Next, assess how each team uses the data you collect. Does the marketing team only look at the annual sales figures? If so, why aren’t they also using quarterly or monthly reports?
You may ask the same thing of your supply chain management team or your inventory managers. Are there issues with finding the relevant data? Is the data structured in a way that makes it more difficult to use?
Once you’ve answered these questions and know what you need, you can begin building your strategy.
Look to Security
Did you know the average cost of a data breach is nearly $4 million? What you pay depends on the size of your business. A data breach isn’t something most businesses can afford though.
That’s why your next step in creating an effective customer data management strategy is security. You want to be able to keep the data you collect safe.
Security should be built into every step of your strategy. You’ll want to consider everything from the webpages where the customer enters their information to the databases you store it.
You should invest in secure software, such as a CRM and a back-up system.
Don’t forget about your employees either. People are often the weak link in the security chain. The right training can turn your team into your best defense against cybercrime.
Invest in the Right Tools
Being able to collect, manage, and secure data hinges on having the right technology.
A spreadsheet is no longer enough to manage all the data you collect. Tools like CRMs and other databases will help you structure the data you collect. You’ll also be able to automate some of the tasks you need to perform.
A CRM and other tools can also help you increase security. You’ll also have an easier time meeting your compliance requirements. A CRM, for example, makes it easier to follow the EU’s GDPR, which includes the right to be forgotten.
Align Your Investment
If you want to make data security a top priority for your business, then you can’t set the budget line for this task at zero. The same is true of adopting the right tools to collect and manage data more efficiently.
A data management strategy is only effective if it also includes a budget to back the plan. What resources can you dedicate to adopting a new CRM? It may mean moving your data from one database to another.
You may want to perform a data cleanse, especially if you’re going to move databases or change processes. You’ll want to think about removing older or irrelevant data. You may also need a team to reformat and clean the data.
Be honest about your abilities. Many small and mid-sized businesses don’t have the in-house capacity for these IT projects. Consider your options and what your budget will look like.
Team up with a Consultant
Sometimes, it helps to get an outsider’s perspective on your data management strategy. A consultant can help you do everything from assess your business’s needs to create an implementation plan for your new strategy.
This consultant recommends starting with a lay of the land review. This review allows you to assess the current state of data in your business. Other consultants specialize in staff training or data cataloging for your business.
No matter when you decide to consult with someone, it can be useful to get their insights. They can make recommendations for the infrastructure you need or improving policies.
Adopt Agile Methodologies
As you continue to craft your strategy for managing data, you’ll want to think about how to manage. This includes the method you use to manage data-related projects.
Agile project management is one of the most popular methodologies available today, with good reason. Agile allows your team to work at the speed they need to keep up with the demands of today’s data. It also allows you more flexibility to adapt to changing business goals.
Agile can also support your infrastructure and plans for growth. As your business continues to grow, you may need to change your goals or find a different solution to handle data. New rules will force you to rethink data collection strategies.
In short, an agile method lets you keep up with the evolving demands of data management.
Leverage Your Data with Ease
Creating an effective data management strategy is important for your continued success. It doesn’t need to be difficult either. These tips can help you get started on the right foot.
If you’re looking for technology tips for your business, check out more great tips and informative articles in our archives.