In the business world, data is currency. Managing this currency in a way that meets both internal and external needs is crucial to success, for a variety of different reasons.
Data management policies help you do just that–they provide a framework for collecting, storing and using data in a way that benefits your organization. Here are 8 ways that well-designed data management policies can help your business grow and thrive.
Data needs to be well-organized in order for it to be useful. This is where data management shows how easy it is to find and use the data. If data is not well-organized, it can be difficult to make sense of it. This can lead to wasted time and resources, as well as missed opportunities, especially opportunities to scale and scale quickly if need be.
If you and your employees have to spend ages searching for data–from sales and marketing to payroll and HR–it adds up to a considerable opportunity cost.
Accurate and up to date data
Your data management policies dictate how well you keep accurate and up-to-date data. This has implications for virtually every strategic decision you make–from product development to marketing initiatives. If you are working with out-of-date and inaccurate data, you are essentially making decisions in the dark.
These decisions can be catastrophic. Conversely, decisions made with accurate and up-to-date data are far more likely to be successful. They are informed by reality and not speculation.
Another key aspect of data management policies is how timely your data is. This is particularly important for businesses that operate in fast-paced industries or markets. If you are not working with the most up-to-date data, you run the risk of making decisions that are based on outdated information. This can lead to missed opportunities or, worse, bad decisions.
The third element of data management policies that is important for business growth is consistency. This means that your data needs to be consistent across all platforms and applications. This can be a challenge for businesses that have data spread across multiple systems. However, it is essential for making sound decisions.
A lack of consistency can lead to decision-making that is all over the place and to misused data at various points throughout the organization.
Another important aspect of data management policies is accessibility. This refers to how easy it is for authorized users to access the data they need. If data is not accessible, it cannot be used to inform decision-making. This can lead to stagnation and a loss of competitive advantage.
Data security is another critical element of data storage policies. This is important for two reasons. First, it protects your data from unauthorized access and use. Second, it protects your business from the reputation damage that can be caused by a data breach.
Cybersecurity threats are one of the most pressing externalities for modern businesses. The rise of ransomware attacks is frightening because of how effective these criminals are at exploiting and, in some cases, bankrupting businesses.
The final element of data management that is important for business growth is good analytics. This refers to the ability to make sense of data and use it to inform decision-making. Good analytics allows businesses to gain insights into their operations, customers, and markets. It also allows them to identify trends and opportunities.
Additionally, your data management policies might also include the kinds of personnel that you employ to make use of and action this data. It could also include training and development initiatives to ensure that your employees are well-versed in data analysis.
Employee data access
A final thought on data management policies is that they should include provisions for employee data access. This refers to the process by which employees are granted access to data. It is important to have a system in place to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data. This helps to protect your business from both internal and external threats.
This is of paramount importance due to the fact that your employees continue to constitute your biggest cybersecurity threat. Employee ignorance, far more so than malfeasance, is what opens the doors to increasingly common fraud like phishing and social engineering.
How you handle and manage your data has a profound impact on your ability to grow and thrive. By implementing policies that ensure data quality, consistency, accessibility, security, and organization, you can set your business up for success. Good analytics is the icing on the cake, allowing you to make the most of your data and gain a competitive edge.
Finally, employee data access should be carefully managed to protect your business from internal and external threats. Keep all of this in mind as you set out your data management policies.