Data has become one of the most valuable assets in a business. But while we all pay close attention to management of other core assets - our financial, physical and human assets - data management rarely receives the scrutiny it requires.
Poor data management can not only hinder our ability to make decisions or meet customer needs, it can cause serious to businesses or customers. Data that is in use could be accessed and altered hundreds of times a day, making auditing more difficult. Data capture procedures must be detailed to ensure information is properly collected and stored. Archived data needs to be checked regularly for hardware degradation, restoration failures and protection against cyberattacks.
The cost of poor data management
Unfortunately, many business owners and stakeholders don't recognise the consequences of poor data management, including:
- Lost or inaccurate data compromising sales opportunities
- Low productivity due to poor organisation
- Failure to properly secure or purge sensitive data
- Miscommunications due to out of date or incomplete data
- Litigation resulting from poor record-keeping
- Fines due to non-compliance
Despite these concerns, many organisations still don’t formalise their data management processes, meaning important data goes unchecked and no one is held accountable if data is mismanaged.
One of the most important first steps a business can take to better data management is to formalise how it handles data - including who is responsible for each step and best practices.
Developing a data management plan
A data management plan ensures consistency and accountability for data handling across your business, while also providing staff with a clear outline of expectations and responsibilities.Every industry and business type will have its own requirements for data capture, use, publication and storage, meaning there is no 'one size fits all' approach to data management.
While each business has its own requirements for data handling, just some of the concerns a data management plan should address include:
- Who is responsible for data capture?
- Who is able to alter data?
- Which data is each staff member able to access?
- Are there any limitations on when and how data can be used?
- What data can be published, and who is able to authorise the publication of sensitive data?
- Where will data be archived and who is responsible?
- How often will data be archived and how long will it be retained?
Developing the right plan for your business should be undertaken in consultation with key stakeholders, including your IT administrator and business software advisor, while adhering to any relevant legal obligations.
Ask the experts
Sybiz's network of Authorised Business Partners work closely with businesses to understand their unique requirements, allowing them to develop effective data handling procedures.
Along with a comprehensive data management plan, intelligent ERP systems like Sybiz Vision allow businesses to maintain their data security and procedures, while streamlining data capture, use, synthesis and publication. And since Sybiz Vision is uniquely tailored to meet our customers' needs, we can create a solution that helps you better manage and secure your data, your way.
Find out more about how Sybiz Vision can help you protect and manage your data.