Data Management: What Is It & Why Is It Important
What is data management? How do companies benefit from using this service? There are many different elements of data management that all relate back to one main theme: data management is the process of storing and using data in a way that unlocks potential for organizations. The process of data management views data or information as a resource for a company or organization, rather than simply something a business houses, stores, or produces.
Data management takes the process of owning, storing, and producing data, and translates that into value for your business or organization. Companies spend a lot of time, effort, and money collecting various data points and you want to make sure that you get the most out of the information your company can access. Doing so properly, with the right processes and goals in mind, can help many organizations to see an increase in revenue and can optimize efficiency. Ultimately this leads to less confusion, fewer wasted dollars, less wasted manpower, and a significant Return On Investment (ROI).
Flagler Technologies is a premier IT solutions provider in Florida, and a leader in the field of data management. Keep reading to learn more about what is data management, the goals of data management, and how it can best benefit your organization.
What Is Data Management?
The concept of data management dates back to the 1980s when larger portions of our daily lives began to take place in a digital space. In years past, virtually all employee, customer, and record information was stored on hard files. Even medical records were noted on paper, then stored in file cabinets or storage facilities. Storing data took up a large amount of physical space as well as a significant portion of employees' time. Every piece of information had to be handwritten and then stored strategically so that it could be located at a later point in time.
As technology progressed, more information began exchanging hands in a digital fashion. First, corporations switched to magnetic strips and card readers, then, to random access storage. As it became easier and faster to store, transfer, and access data, corporations became able to produce and keep more of it. The concept of process management helped streamline the process of accessing such information, and the digital age began to take over the handwritten information of decades past.
The process of data management looks at how companies and organizations keep, move, and access the seemingly endless amounts of data that they have today. Data management includes many different disciplines, affecting the information at each point of its lifecycle. Today, you may also hear data management referred to as information management or knowledge management as these two words have become synonymous with "data" in the present landscape.
Key disciplines of data management include:
Data Governance and Integrity–the availability, usability, and consistency of the data a company collects to ensure a positive outcome for the organization.
Data Architecture and Data Flows–the movement of data that notes how it is collected, stored, arranged, integrated, accessed, and used by members of an organization.
Database and Storage Management–including database system management and implementation.
Data Privacy and Security–including authentication, data erasure, protection against hackers and phishing scams, adherence to industry regulations, and more.
Data Integration–compiling information and data from a variety of internal sources and presenting a user with one unified view of all relevant data points.
Document and Record Management Systems–including internal cloud servers for storing important files, and electronic record systems for industries including healthcare, finance, and more.
Business Intelligence–the evaluation of data to gain insight into a particular area of business.
Data mining and Data Analysis–identifying and deciphering patterns in large amounts of data.
Data Quality Oversight and Evaluation–including identifying and correcting corrupt data, ensuring the accuracy of all stored data, quality assurance, and more.
The Goals of Data Management
The goal of implementing an effective data management process is to improve the way that a company accesses, stores and uses data. In turn, this can help benefit many different areas and departments, providing valuable insight and making the customer journey easier and more accessible.
Key goals of data management include:
Improving access to data–making it quicker and easier to get the information you are looking for.
Facilitate greater collaboration between internal employees and external vendors–for example, enabling engineers and architects to better work together to complete a project.
Automate operations and simplify complex processes–streamlined processes save time and money.
Support business growth–spend less time and money on tedious data processes and more reaching new business.
Effective data management allows companies to remain organized, proficient, and profitable under a variety of circumstances. Whether you are currently in the process of expanding your business, are just starting out and are looking to save money and manpower wherever possible, or are already well established and need to streamline processes, data management can help your organization. There is no company that is too big or too small to benefit from this process.
Why Do Businesses Need Data Management?
After answering the question of what is data management, and learning about the goals of data management, many executives and companies what to know why precisely they should implement the process, along with the many benefits that it entails. As there are many different disciplines in data management, there are many different outcomes from implementing a better process.
Improve Levels of Customer Trust
Having the trust and faith of customers and consumers is crucial in virtually every industry. However, there are certain industries in which it is absolutely crucial and where data and information is regulated by overseeing bodies. These industries include healthcare and finance, as two examples.
All customer data and information that a healthcare company collects is bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly referred to as HIPAA. HIPAA is a federal statute in the United States that includes a section called The Privacy Rule. The Privacy Rule protects patient information that others could use to identify them. This includes information such as name and birthdate, social security number, medical diagnosis and treatment, insurance information, and more. If a company violates the stipulations set forth by HIPAA, it may face hefty fines and other ramifications.
In regard to finance, the General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, is a ruling set forth by the European Union (EU) regarding data protection and privacy for consumers. All companies that do business with any person or vendor in the EU must adhere to the GDPR.
In addition to industry regulations, customers must hold a level of trust in a company in order for that organization to remain profitable and in business. Customers and clients must have faith that a company is not acting in bad faith with their data, and they must feel secure providing personal and financial information to a third-party organization. Data breaches impact countless consumers every year and can cost an organization quite a bit of business.
Maintain Trust among Employees
While there is often a significant focus on consumer data and industry regulations, it is just as paramount for companies to maintain a level of trust among employees in regard to their data. Companies have a large portion of personal information on file about each of their employees. This data and information includes name, address, date of birth, copies of identification cards and paperwork, banking and tax information, health insurance information, and more.
It is essential that this personal data remain protected and that companies adequately store such information and be able to access it should they ever need to. For example, if a Human Resources department repeatedly loses driver's license information for employees and continues to ask staff members to provide such information again, such employees may lose faith in the integrity of the business.
Drive Business Growth
As companies grow, they continuously accumulate more data. This data takes many shapes and forms, such as consumer information, employee data, data regarding sales numbers, advertising revenue, documents, and more. As your company gets larger it will become more challenging to store, access, and interpret all of this information and knowledge.
With data management, you can use the insights that processes such as data mining and data analysis provide you to make strategic business decisions that drive further growth. Learn information such as audience demographics to improve advertising targets, compare sets of data regarding different sales and traffic times on your website, and access all past consumer information that you have stored to retarget audiences who are likely to engage with your brand again.
Additionally, gain insights such as cues that it may be time to invest in more storage space, or that it may be worth it to purchase more company assets such as vehicles. Alternately, learn when it may be time to cut budget in certain areas, such as lessening the number of employees on the schedule for certain slow shifts.
All of this information can help drive the growth of your business. You can easily see where and when to spend money, and where and when to make cutbacks. This takes the guesswork out of growing and maintaining a business, enabling you to make strategic decisions based on real information whenever necessary.
Save Time and Improve Efficiency
Another reason that using the process of data management makes sense for businesses of all sizes, in all industries, is that it can save your employees quite a bit of time and improve efficiency. When data is properly stored and easily accessed, employees can always view such information precisely when they need to without any struggles. This frees up their time to do things that make more money for your company. Instead of searching for past sales records, for example, employees can spend more time making sales calls to new prospective customers with all the time they save searching for data.
Additionally, with data management, individuals in different departments can work together more easily and in a more streamlined process when they can access and view information more quickly. For example, when your accounting department can easily see which of your employees worked over time this past pay cycle, and how many hours they worked, they can more easily issue payroll. Or, perhaps your sales department needs to know which products will be released in the coming months for their next quarterly initiatives. When that information is readily available from your distribution department, and easily accessible for members of other departments, they can complete their jobs in a more streamlined fashion.
Contact Flagler Technologies Today
If you would like to know more about data management solutions in Florida, contact Flagler technologies today. As a full managed IT services organization, we work with companies both large and small all across the country to find data management solutions that meet the unique needs of each organization.
The data management solutions that work best for your company may not be the same as those employed by another corporation–don't pay for more than you need. When you partner with Flagler Technologies we will put together a comprehensive custom package to best serve your company.
For the best managed IT services, contact Flagler Technologies today. Complete our convenient online form fill and a representative will reach back out to you shortly, or call us any time at 561-229-1601. We can help you implement data management solutions that work in no time at all.