Today’s modern business landscape demands every organization to have a data-driven approach; While building a successful, data-driven organization might sound like a seemingly simple job, practically it is a complex task. However, to exist and do well in this competitive market almost every company needs to be information-driven.
Firstly, let’s understand what it means for a company to be data-driven, in simple terms data-driven means exploiting data to make efficient decisions for the organization and provide great customer experiences while carving profits out of it. While most entrepreneurs think stacking or storing data is enough, it is not beneficial; they miss the point that it is timely availability of structured and organized data which makes a difference in the decision-making process.
Experts have rightly said that data is a company’s asset in today’s world, however, it depends on the company to manipulate this data to its advantage. The business world is a rainforest of data, every piece of software and system or product and service collect and store data.
Right from accounting software to credit card processing software to customer relationship management (CRM) software, and other all are potential data handling systems that feed a wide variety of data into the business. The first step towards creating a truly data-driven business is to organize your business data.
What is data organization?
Logical consolidation and categorization of data for more value-driven data essentially incorporate data organization. Accumulated data needs to be explored, transformed, cross-correlated, merged, analyzed, and even interpreted by experts and/or specialized system/software. Basically, data organization is the classification and categorization of data into logically interpretable, timely available, and useful data.
How organized is your company’s data organization?
Before you think about data organization it’s imperative to know your company’s current situation, ask yourself some important questions like —
- Is it formatted?
- Is it tagged?
- Is it organized in databases?
- Is it scalable?
- Can it be customized (is the data flexible)?
- Is it future-proof and secure?
To have organized data means to have structured data that is formatted, tagged, and organized in databases, and can be timely accessed, and analyzed. Data can be stored in two ways, the more manageable (preferably for businesses) is “structured” and the second one is “unstructured” which consists of most of the raw data.
The simpler the better
The large amount of data that usually flows into an organization can overwhelm anyone, so the best thing to do is ‘KISS- Keep it Simple and Short’. Try to classify your data into broad categories and subcategories to simplify data searches. This can help you gain perspective of the kind of data you already have and where the incoming data might fit.
Test data management needs to be agile
Like they say, “wasting company time should be a crime”. Well, most organizations that have existing processes in place to provision test data spend weeks on it. Thus, an agile test data management process that gives quick results and is reliable when at it, should be on every organization’s A-list when thinking about good data management.
Make Data Customizable
In a perfect world, decisions and requirements will align but, more often than not, objectives and demands change in the middle, thus, you should have flexible data that can be well fitted into all scenarios. You may need more granular customization, for this, it is crucial to have your employees or a hired data expert figure out more efficient customization of available data.
Streamline Business Data storage
Having a policy in place that lets you pinpoint what is useful for your organization, what needs to be discarded, and what needs to be backed up can truly help in the categorization of data. Backing up data is something that most small and medium organizations take lightly.
While storage can be an issue, nowadays, web-based data storage or “cloud” is a lifesaver. It can ensure all your data is backed up while some cloud storage services also allow data to be accessed remotely.
Emails are important too!
An underestimated data collector — your emails actually contain a lot of important data. Even though e-mail service has been around for quite a long time its significance cannot be undermined. Thus, building an email maintenance strategy with respect to what needs to be done with e-mail data is important for every organization.
Data literate employees = Better data organization
Having a data illiterate employee can be a liability for your firm, so, as an employer, it should be your duty to push employees towards better data management and segregation practices. Incorporating things as basic as, being consistent with file names, and creating and storing the right data in the right folders can go a long way.
In a data-driven world, it becomes essential to keep up with the times or your organization can simply lag behind. Data management and organization are the building blocks of a successful data-driven company.