Is your business struggling with data management? Yes, today’s technological advances allow you to collect a lot of data almost effortlessly. But how do you avoid common data management mistakes that could cost your business more than you thought?
And we’re not only talking about money but time as well.
You’re not the only one trying to figure out what business data strategy to apply. It’s easy to slip and make mistakes in data management – many businesses face them in the beginning before they set up a proper data management plan.
Luckily, we’re here to warn you about these five typical mistakes so your business can be the one to avoid them all.
What Is Data Management?
Data management is the process that consists of data collection, storage, organization, and use. When this process is efficient and accurate, a business can use the results for strategic planning and decision-making.
It’s also vital that the data is completely secure throughout the whole data management process, and if it’s successful, it can have many benefits for a business.
But, as mentioned, many companies make certain data management mistakes. Here are the most common ones.
You’re Not Really Using the Data You’ve Collected
Everything is based on data, especially your sales and marketing strategies – how else would you get to know in which direction to develop your business if you don’t know what your market needs?
But the mere fact that you possess the data isn’t enough. Storing endless amounts of data won’t help you grow if you don’t use it correctly.
Recognize the power of data and set up an adequate analytics strategy to improve the way your business operates and achieve the company’s long-term goals. Your first step may be data categorization and representing it in charts and graphs. Visualization helps understand data better.
You Haven’t Assigned Data Management to Anyone
Do you have a data manager? Many businesses use automation programs that collect and store data without 24/7 supervision, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need anyone to oversee these activities.
Data management is a question of hygiene. You don’t want duplicates or inaccuracies because those may affect your overall results and provide you with false insight, or increase your data storage or collection costs.
Moreover, not everyone on your staff is equally data-savvy. Some of your employees may need help with data categorization or analysis, and these steps are necessary if you want to make the most out of this data.
You’re Not Checking Data Accuracy and Quality
Making sure that all the gathered data is accurate would be one of the duties of your data management team. Inaccurate data may cause significant money losses, not to mention how much time you’ll waste working with the wrong information.
If the process of data collection is long and complicated, these inaccuracies may happen more often, so a proper solution would be to create a procedure as straightforward as possible.
Low-quality data can cause the same issues – did you know that the US economy loses around $3.1 trillion per year because of it? So, the data may be right – just not for you. And with low-quality data, you might either draw wrong conclusions or be unable to draw any.
Appointing a person or a team to ensure data accuracy and quality is an easy solution that pays off long-term.
You Haven’t Updated Your Data Strategy in a While
Do you have an established data management vision? Have you set specific goals for the data you obtain? And, most importantly, are these goals a part of an updated business data strategy?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been here for quite a while and outdated strategies simply don’t work anymore. If you’re not following the trend, the competition will push you out of the game.
Make sure you define short-term and long-term goals and choose the metrics you’re going to measure. Once you have those, you will learn how and where you can collect the necessary data, and how you can automate some of the steps to save both time and money.
You’re Not Taking Care of Privacy Issues
There’s no growing without having a satisfied audience, and the only way to keep the audience satisfied is to build trust. You can’t do it if there are ethical concerns related to your business. When managing data, regardless of its amount, there are privacy and security guidelines to follow.
In case of abuse or mishandling of your customers’ data, you may face money loss, lawsuits, etc. That’s why you should pay attention to making sure the data is protected, handled properly, and for the right purposes, especially if you’re hiring a third-party individual or a company as a data processor.
You Want to Start (Too) Big
If you’re just starting, it’s better to take baby steps until you discover the best practice that you can apply to data management in your business. It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking on a huge initiative without realizing how overwhelming it may be. The most common consequence is that you don’t meet the deadlines and the team gets frustrated because they’re not making any progress.
On the other hand, your employees may waste time overanalyzing the data while trying to make it work. Before you take on a project, make sure you know exactly how much data you’re dealing with. Are the results unclear and ambiguous? Go for a smaller amount of data first and tackle it area by area instead of analyzing it as a whole.
You’re Neglecting Long-Term Thinking
Are you chasing short-term goals or thinking long-term? You should undoubtedly be doing the latter. Of course, immediate ROI sounds tempting, but a more stable, optimized data management process sure sounds even better for your business’s future.
You will benefit from the technologies you’re using to make data collection and analysis easier right away.
However, to fully understand the power of these programs and the value they bring to your company, think about how you’ll integrate them into your processes in the long run. They may help you notice specific patterns in your data that will lead to significant improvements and discovering new efficient business operations.
You Haven’t Done Enough to Secure the Data
Business owners often face data security challenges. In fact, 20% of them say their companies get hit several times every year, and 80% say they had at least one cybersecurity data breach in 2019.
However challenging, secured data is a must. It’s not only about keeping your customers’ data private, but also about protecting your storage from break-ins, whether they’re physical or virtual. There should be no compromises when it comes to ensuring total control over the data and its safety at all times.
Bear in mind that it’s up to you to do your best to ensure that everyone involved in the data processing is doing their part honestly. However, you also need to protect your company. That’s why signing a DPA with any third-party data processors you work with is a good idea.
You’re Not Automating Specific Processes
Most companies today use some kind of workflow-management tool, which enables them to save time and invest it in tasks that can’t be done automatically.
The same applies to businesses that want to increase their sustainability – they could easily collect and examine energy data using an automated solution, which could have numerous benefits for the company. For instance, lower expenses and higher operational efficiency.
Be careful when choosing appropriate software to back up your efforts to be efficient. Compare the available solutions and pick the one that doesn’t have a bunch of unnecessary tools that would only be a money loss for your business.
You Trust the Data Without Questioning It
Many businesses rely strongly on the data they collect, and that’s okay. But there still needs to be a human and creative aspect to data analysis since it can help you make better decisions and set proper goals.
First of all, technology can help us immensely, but it’s not perfect and there may be errors from time to time. And secondly, if you’re always following the same strategy and use what worked in the past, how do you innovate? How do you broaden your market, develop new products, and grow?
To make it happen, sometimes you need to step away from your data and double check computer conclusions.
Data management mistakes happen to everyone. Whether you haven’t secured the data or you haven’t been using it correctly, there’s plenty of time to fix your mistakes if you act immediately. Efficient data management can bring your business numerous benefits:
- Improve and automate business processes
- Make better decisions and achieve the right goals
- Avoid data security and privacy issues
And we’re happy to help you implement the right strategy. Feel free to reach out and schedule a call today.