Data and analytics are valuable resources for your business. They allow you to function, learn and grow. They help you understand your consumers and also help you plan for relevant business goals. That’s why good data management within business is always encouraged as an ongoing priority.
What is Data Management?
Data management is all about how you handle business data. It outlines the collection, organization, and maintenance of data, as well as how you choose to use data and act on what statistics and information is telling you. Data management is about knowing how data can help your business and how it can provide valuable insights for your organization.
Why is Data Management Important?
If you wish to learn and grow as a business, then you’ll need a good data management practice. However, it isn’t just about collecting and maintaining data; it’s also about understanding how to read data, sift through a great number of statistics, and use data to your advantage.
Data management is vital for business lessons, goals, insights, and growth.
Data management is also vital because of the time and energy spent collecting business data. You don’t want to risk losing all you have worked to achieve data-wise by bad management and misplacing your collected data.
Furthermore, especially within the field of marketing, data is going to be crucial in understanding how your strategies and campaigns are working – which are doing well and which you need to change or scrap altogether.
5 Ways to Improve Your Data Management
If you’re looking to manage your data in the best possible way, here are 5 top methods for achieving that.
01. Try to Eliminate as Much Unnecessary Data as Possible
One crux of data collection and management is the amount of useless or unhelpful data you will accumulate alongside the relevant data. Unfortunately, it also means organizing your data in a way to make it easier to sift through everything and understand what’s relevant and what isn’t. This is why it’s encouraged to do as much as possible to eliminate any unhelpful data from the get-go, to save time and energy on having to separate your data.
This can be dependent on how you’re collecting your data and if there is any way to make that data collection easier. If you’re using feedback forms, surveys, and more to understand your consumers better, for instance, then gathering the right data can be dependent on asking the right questions. Try to eliminate any unnecessary fields or questions so that you don’t end up with large amounts of data you don’t need.
Make it as easy for yourself as possible.
02. Keep on Top of Data Analysis
Collecting a high amount of data is beneficial for your business, but it’s also akin to working to a deadline. As consumer behavior and market trends can change so quickly, it’s important to analyze critical data as soon as possible after receiving it — perhaps even on a daily basis.
If you leave data analysis for a long time and accumulate a lot of data, not only is it going to be more difficult to sift through, but it also may run the risk of the window of opportunity having already passed, and some data may have become obsolete. Especially if you are in a highly fast-paced market, jumping on key data as soon as possible to learn valuable insights is going to be beneficial.
03. Outline Which Key Areas of Data to Concentrate On
In filtering through your data, managing it, and organizing it, you need to identify what the most important aspects of data are. This should align with your business goals and marketing strategies. Are you looking to find out more about who consumers are or how they behave? Are you looking for data regarding the consumer market as a whole? Know what you’re looking for when managing particular data to make finding trends and insights easier.
04. Learn as Much as You Can About Data Handling
This can apply to you as a business leader and professional if you’re running your own business, or perhaps even ensuring that there is someone within the company who is qualified to understand and handle data. There is never a point where you will have learned enough about data, so ongoing learning and qualifications are vital to feeling more confident and able in handling data.
You may want to take a data handling course, a data qualification, or pursue a master’s degree in data and data science; click here for more information.
05. Assign Data Management as a Job Task or Role
For the best data management practices, you need an individual or a team to dedicate their time fully to processing and understanding data and analytics. Data management can easily fall on the back burner if it’s a last-minute thought or if it’s something all team members are trying to do in between their full-time roles.
Creating a role just for data management is encouraged for large businesses, or you may want to have data management as the top responsibility of certain team members. How you want to organize this depends on your business’s way of working, but as long as it is a focused task and not an afterthought.
5 Tips for Managing Customer Data
Customer-specific data is going to be very beneficial to your business growth and what you can learn about your consumers. As such, managing this type of data may mean a separate outline of responsibility so that it can be a standalone task.
Not only that, but data management can mean different things when it comes to your customers. It may mean organizing and protecting the data and information you have on file for your customers, too.
Here are 5 tips for managing customer data.
01. Secure Your Data
As data, in general, is a precious resource, it needs to be protected as such. This means storing your data safely, implementing security measures, and also ensuring a regular backup to prevent information loss.
Using strong security measures for your business systems will help to keep all data secure. It means managing any data threats to your business, which could include:
- Data breaches
- Data loss
- Malware or viruses
- Information theft from cybercriminals
- Any other type of cybercrime
Backing up your customer data is also crucial for protecting it against loss. Offsite backup can be a beneficial feature, as this ensures all data is still protected should anything happen to your business premises, such as natural accidents.
02. Manage and Collect Data Ethically
While data is a valuable resource, that doesn’t mean data collection should be done without your customer’s knowledge. To garner trust and more positive relationships, be transparent about any data collection methods you’re implementing.
Give customers the option to provide data or opt-in for data collection. Provide surveys in which customers can choose to supply the relevant data. Create data collection and management policies for customers to understand your practice and their privacy rights. Never share customer data that you have collected without their permission.
03. Create Business Goals and Align Data Collection with Them
To know what you’re looking to achieve with customer data, you first need to create goals that help you to focus. Data collection and analysis should always be in line with your business objectives and what you’re looking to learn from customer data. Going into data analysis blind will only inspire time-wasting and waste of resources.
Create firm business goals that help you understand what you need from your business data, customer data, and analytics.
04. Have a System for Storing Data
This step will depend on how you want to operate as a business and which data storage method works best for you. You may want to implement a spreadsheet, data storage software or have your own routine, which works best for you and your team. As data management results in a high amount of data, it’s often easier (and more time-friendly) to implement automatic software or systems.
05. Give Customers an Ongoing Choice Regarding Their Data
Even if customers initially opt-in to data collection, they may change their mind, and it’s important to always allow customers the option to opt-out down the line. This can be as simple as putting an ‘opt out’ or ‘unsubscribe’ button on the bottom of emails or providing contact details for them to discuss the option.
Customers should always have the right (and choice) to manage their data settings, and if they can’t find the option to opt-out, it can cause friction for your customer relationships.
There are many areas to consider when it comes to data management. This includes the ethical collection of data, how to use data and analytics to achieve your business goals, and how to ensure that business data remains safe and protected.
Data is one of the biggest resource businesses can have, which means proper data management techniques will always be a benefit for companies looking to learn and grow.