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Data management 101

What you (and your boss) need to know

Despite the fact that the importance of data is widely recognized among company executives, there is a gap between this recognition and the number of organizations that are leveraging data to empower business decisions. To close this gap, organizations are investing in data management practices to establish trust and control of their data. That being said, the concept of data management includes many different components. If you are building an entire strategy from the ground up, and aren’t able to understand and prioritize these different aspects, then you may face confusion and pushback in getting things off the ground. This is especially true in today’s business environment where massive amounts of data, from many different sources, are being created and collected. The good news is that there is no reason to worry! We will break down what the current state of data management looks like, and how leveraging a data management strategy can benefit you and your organization (and impress your boss along the way).

It is important to understand where the industry is investing when it comes to data management, so that you are able to focus resources on relevant data management projects that will benefit your organization as a whole. Our 2017 global data management benchmark report reveals that 90% of the organizations we surveyed plan to undergo a data management project in the upcoming year. The areas where these organizations will be focusing the most are: data cleansing, data integration, data migration, data preparation, data enrichment, and data analytics.

You may be thinking, this all sounds great, but what exactly are the benefits of having a clear data management strategy? There are three general areas where data management will have a positive impact. It will increase revenue, improve brand reputation, and ensure your organization is complying with regulation. With so much at stake, you can see why so many businesses are undertaking data management projects. Now, let’s look at two of the areas where data management will benefit you and your organization.

More than half of organizations globally believe that their current data governance programs are ineffective. Part of developing an effective data management strategy is establishing clear control over your organization’s data. By establishing one person or department to be in charge of your data, you will be able to avoid challenges related to siloed databases. Without this control, there will be confusion within the business, and an overlap of data collection that in the end will harm your reputation among customers. If multiple records are being collected for a single customer, then they will most likely be receiving multiple (and overlapping) communication touchpoints. This will take away from a personalized customer experience, which can negatively impact their brand perception and loyalty. Overall, a central position that handles the execution of a data management strategy (such as a Chief Data Officer) will lead to more efficient and organized business processes, by enabling data sharing across departments.

Another key aspect of good data management practices is establishing trust in your data. With this trust comes the ability to use your data to empower business objectives. However, if your organization does not have confidence in the accuracy of the data it is collecting, then you will be investing time, money, and resources into unreliable analysis. If access to trusted data was right at your fingertips, what would you be able to accomplish with the same investments?

As mentioned previously, more than 90% of organizations plan to undergo one or more data management projects in the next year. What this means for you is that in order to stay competitive in this rapidly changing business environment, you must develop, implement, or refine your data management strategy. The bottom line is that with a clear strategy in place you will improve your reputation, ease your compliance efforts, and ultimately impact your bottom line.

A strong data management strategy starts with the C-suite. Learn more about building an effective strategy in our white paper. 

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