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Better Data Management For Better Business

Published on 31 July 15
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Life in 2015 is characterized by increased use and reliance on the Internet, the rise of mobile computing, the dominance of wireless connectivity, and the easy availability of an over-abundance of data. While one may argue that there's no such thing as too much data, its increased volume and accessibility does pose certain problems.
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When the conversation turns to data, one particular challenge that comes to light is the concept of data management. After all, the more data that there is out there, the bigger a task it is to manage it. Let's take a look at the importance of data management and how to make it better. But first ...
Data Management Defined
Before we discuss why data management is important and how it can be improved, it would help to define precisely what we're talking about when we discuss it. According to DAMA, the data management association, "Data management is the development, execution and supervision of plans, policies, programs and practices that control, protect, deliver and enhance the value of data and information assets."
The Importance Of Data Management
The problem with the plethora of data, apps, platforms, software, and other related elements is that there is a lot to keep track of, particularly if people take it upon themselves to incorporate certain processes and apps without clearing it first. Imagine, if you will, six different employees using six different database management apps. The article "4 Ways Business Operations Teams Can Better Manage Their Company's Apps and Data" points out that sometimes new apps can be brought in without your Ops team even being aware of it.

And the problems extend not only to multiple apps, but also who is looking at what data. Do people have access to sensitive data even though they work in a department that has nothing to do with the information in the first place?

This is why it's imperative that there are universally-applied standards in terms of data access and storage, and what programs and apps are cleared for use. Otherwise, the chaos that ensues can result in data security breaches, diminished production time, and ultimately, additional expenses and lost revenue.
How To Address The Problem
So how do you deal with data management challenges? By practicing the following:
Avoid Redundancy. Not to be confused with redundant backups, redundant data is information that's dated, unnecessary, or simply exists in multiple copies for no reason. Trim out the fat, clean house, or whatever other metaphor you want to use!

Store Your Data Wisely. Your data should be stored somewhere secure, yes, but it should also be easily accessible by the parties that are authorized to use it. Easy access is also defined as having it organized in such a way that looking things up can be done quickly and efficiently.

Create A Coherent Data Policy. Put together a team consisting of representatives of all relevant departments, create a single, standardized data management policy, then make sure that it's not only available to everyone, but it's applicable to everyone regardless of how high or low they are on the company ladder. This policy should also include things like what devices, programs, and apps are allowed.

Formulate A Data Recovery Plan. Finally, make sure that you have a recovery plan in place in case disaster or breaches occur, because you know, eventually, they will. This includes things like storing multiple backups in different locations, and having a list of contacts (and their responsibilities) that are expected to spring into action when disaster hits.

By following these directives, you're on your way to locking up a better data management policy. As time goes on, you'll find it changing and evolving. Be open to new ideas, such as this article about data center management.
This blog is listed under Data & Information Management Community

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