When developing a business intelligence strategy, data management is key. But if you don’t follow data management best practices, your business could fail in more ways than one.
This being said, it’s important to create and document a set of data management best practices that your company and its employees can easily follow. This way, you can keep your data secure, scalable, and actionable.
To do this, you’ll need to incorporate your data management best practices into a complete data management plan.
Let’s break down what this involves.
Prioritize data security
In order to protect your data, clients, reputation, and future, data security should always be a top priority and wrapped up into your data management best practices. Here’s what we recommend to get started:
Identify which roles need access to specific data.
Follow compliance laws governing the type of data you collect. Credit card information and health-related information each have its own set of regulations governing the collection, storage, and use of related data.
Train employees how to handle sensitive data. Training should include data privacy laws, company policy, and procedures for reporting noncompliance.
Use a multilayered security system that layers protection throughout your IT infrastructure.
Keep Reading: How is business intelligence used in the real-world?
Plan for scalability in your data management
At the moment, you may only want to use your data to analyze customer trends and develop marketing strategies. However, as you begin to outline your data management best practices, be mindful of how you may grow your data collection in the future.
Bring the entire company on board with your data handling best practices, even if some departments are currently included in your business intelligence strategy.
Reduce duplicate data across departments. Where possible, make sure everyone is looking at the same data. Accounting may not be part of your BI plan. But they should be viewing customer data from the same place as sales.
Create a data backup and recovery plan
Anything could happen to your data at any point. It’s important to have a set of data management best practices that covers how to preserve data and how to recover it when disaster strikes.
Bring all of your company into one data warehouse. Doing so will boost your data recovery plan and ensure data remains clean and organized.
Back up your data to the cloud regularly.
Develop a written data recovery plan and define exactly how you’ll recover data to quickly get the company up and running.
Create processes for everyone to follow
Processes are key to managing and handling data accurately. Data handling processes can address the day-to-day tasks of working with data and ensure everyone knows where data is, where it’s been, and where it’s going.
Create a list of data definitions and acceptable abbreviations. For example, deciding if your business will use common abbreviations, like Assoc. or Co., will keep your data clean and reduce duplicate data.
Automate as much of your data management as possible. There is a solution to automate almost every manual data entry task. For example, create an online application that feeds data into your applicant tracking system. Or if your company handles many documents, invest in a PDF data extraction solution.
Create a process for deleting data. Only a few people in your organization should have access to record deletion.
Make sure every deletion is preceded by confirmation dialog boxes.
Use metadata, or data about the data, to note changes.
Create permissions for who is allowed to change data. Be careful that you don’t make it difficult for people to do their jobs.
Perform regular maintenance on your data
Good data management practices will help keep your data orderly. But just like anything else, sometimes you’ll need to deep clean your data. Performing regular maintenance on your data will keep your analytics accurate. You’ll also keep your business operations running smoothly when everyone is working with reliable data.
Delete or archive unnecessary data.
Run scripts to identify and reconcile duplicate data.
Run queries to identify and correct misspellings, incorrect abbreviations, etc.
Identify where missing data is skewing analytics and add the missing information.
Choose data management software
The digital market for data management offers many options. Look for one that will help you realize your business goals. Your choice should also assist you as you implement data handling best practices.
Look for a data management software solution that will:
Prioritize data protection and security
Offer cloud storage as part of a business data recovery plan
Oversee company-wide data integration into a single data warehouse
Offer BI dashboards and other visual tools that generate actionable insights for better business decisions
Provide ongoing support
Good data management practices unlock your company’s potential
With good data, you can analyze every aspect of your operations and use that information to make better business decisions. If you need help managing your data and bringing into a comprehensive business intelligence strategy, we’d love to help.
Give us a call or reach out to us online.