“Data is the new oil. It’s valuable, but if unrefined, it cannot really be used.”– Clive Humby, British mathematician
Although this dramatic statement was made way back in 2006, many businesses today still struggle to grasp the fact that making the right business decisions (and thereby, generating profits or losses) is almost entirely dependent on reliable and usable data.
The reason for this is not surprising. Data, by nature, is extensive, ever-evolving, and filled with numbers that confuse the average business manager. It also takes up several hours of manual effort to organize and then analyze data coming in from various sources (not to mention the time spent in filtering out data that’s incorrect or duplicated!).
To add to his woes, a business manager has to make peace with the fact that the reigning market trends in his industry, competitor information, as well as customer-related updates, all add to the mounting pile of data that’s stored in his company’s database. And this is data that is constantly changing in cadence with global level market disruptions, company policies, or even, changing customer preferences.
Having a data management program in place can bring a sense of order to this chaos. Data management can help you effectively weed out incorrect, duplicate, or redundant data while presenting you with updated, reliable and relevant data — data that can not only help you make sense of the numbers you see on your dashboard but can empower you to make informed, critical and data-backed business decisions.
In this blog, I shall endeavor to briefly explain how bad quality data affects your business, what is data management, and then dive deep into how investing in a data management tool could be the way forward.
Why Data Quality Matters
A recent study by Gartner has made a case for how poor data quality can destroy business values. According to this research, most organizations apparently believe that poor data quality is responsible for an average of $15 million per year in losses.
With bad data, you not only have to deal with losses in revenue but also deal with hampered business operations, decline in employee productivity, and of course, poor business decisions. It can eventually affect the credibility of your company with your customers or with your business or media partners. Unfortunately, no organization is immune to bad data.
(If you would like to understand in detail the standards with which data quality is defined, read more about the six core dimensions of data quality in this article.)
What is Data Management (DM)?
Data management (DM) consists of the practices, techniques, and tools for achieving consistent access to and delivery of data across the enterprise. It can be defined as the process of storing and using data across applications effectively, so as to enable organizations to make data-backed business decisions.
A data management tool helps you manage high volumes of unstructured data and their sources while ensuring that there is a single, standardized and accurate source of data available for use between applications and companies — in other words, a single master data set that’s available for all.
Moreover, with the growing number of regulations and compliance policies around appropriate management and storage of data, it is critical for businesses to have a comprehensive data management practice in place. This includes data integration, data quality, master data management, data governance, and data analytics.
How Investing In Data Management Can Help Your Business
To make sense of the data at your disposal and to arrive at a single source of truth, it becomes imperative to seek a tool that can effectively organize, store and present data that has been cleansed of quality issues such as duplication or inaccuracy. A data management tool can take the stress out of managing vast volumes of data and encourage you to adopt the practice of making data-driven decisions for your business.
Let’s delve deeper into the top six reasons why you should consider investing in data management to make better business decisions.
1. Data Management Helps Your Business Be Agile
With the ever-changing market that businesses today witness, along with highly aware, globalized customers that expect the best, companies are required to be adaptable and spontaneous more than ever. Your business can gain valuable insights from customer reviews or opinions, and review analytical data on product or campaign performances with a data management tool. This will help your company make the right business decisions that are in tune with changing market requirements.
2. Data Management Helps Predict The Future
In a world riddled with uncertainties, especially in relation to cyber threats, economic downturn, or even a looming acquisition, access to relevant and timely data can help your business make the right decisions at the right time. You would be empowered to take necessary precautions to mitigate any risk or damage to your business, its financial health, or to your organization’s reputation.
3. Data Management Can Guide You Towards Right Hiring
More often than not, wrong hires impact a company’s HR budget significantly. Many companies fail to correctly analyze the data at hand before making the decision to expand their workforce. This not only leads to an unwanted increase of resources but may also contribute to higher retention rates, lower employee productivity, or in some cases, a decision to lay off staff. Investing in a data management solution helps your business ward off such situations.
4. Data Management Helps With Well-Thought-Out Investments
If your Board is considering various investment options for your business, investing in a data management tool can give you access to valid data, especially in terms of your company’s sales revenues or improved ARRs (Annual Recurring Revenue). This could also help you zero in on the right stocks or bonds for your company.
5. Data Management Helps Improve Customer Data
With a data management tool in place, you can be assured of gaining accurate and updated information about your customer — interoperable information that keeps coming in regularly from various sources and keeps getting updated across applications in your organization. Accurate and complete data on customers’ buying patterns, tastes, and preferences allow you to customize and improve your customers’ experiences. On the other hand, inaccuracies or inconsistencies in customer data can adversely impact the decisions taken by your company’s stakeholders.
6. Data Management Helps Drive Strategic Decisions
An effective data management solution ensures that the data in your organization is reliable, accurate, and available to the right users. With the right data at their disposal, business managers and other key stakeholders can easily glean analytical information, which helps them arrive at strategic and timely corporate decisions.
To sum it up, effectively managing an organization’s data unlocks a lot of value in business. As organizations worldwide accelerate their digital transformation efforts, effective data management has already become one of the key areas that they need to focus on to stay a step ahead. After all, quality data leads to quality business decisions!
To help you make smart business decisions, To-Increase offers you our state-of-the-art MDM suite of solutions. With an impressive portfolio of industry, business, and technical productivity solutions for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and a proud member of the prestigious Microsoft Business Applications Inner Circle for 14 years in a row, To-Increase is driven by our vision of empowering you — our customer — with software solutions that can help you optimize your operations, grow and lead in your sector.