As a business owner, you know that data is critical to your success. But what you might not realize is that how you manage your data can be just as important as the data itself.
Poorly managed data can lead to confusion, inefficiencies, and even lost revenue. On the other hand, well-managed data can give you valuable insights into your business and help you make better decisions. So how do you ensure that your data is well-managed? Here are some tips from the pros:
Hire a consultant
If data is the lifeblood of your business, then data literacy is its heart. Having data literacy means you understand how information flows through your company and the impact it has on operations, decision-making, and data-driven projects. To get there, you may need a data literacy consultant to help educate yourself and your team members.
Qualified data literacy consultants specialize in data science, systems design, data architecture, data analysis, data management, and more. Don’t just settle for someone who says they know data – make sure to look for one with a formal education in either a STEM field or data analytics. Once you’ve made the hire, be sure to stay open-minded to their input – after all, the data will govern what works best for your business!
Keep your data organized
With the vast and ever-growing amount of data constantly flowing through your business, it becomes increasingly important to stay organized. To that end, one of the best strategies is to create folders and subfolders which clearly organize all your data into related categories. By being intentional with data organization in this way, you create a system within which it’ll be easier to locate important information when you need it.
Additionally, if your company grows or expands in the future, such systems will help prevent confusion or disruption in workflow due to a lack of clear organization. Taking the time upfront to properly set up an organizational structure for all data – both digital and hard copy – is likely one of the most valuable investments you’ll make as a business owner.
Use a cloud-based storage system
Another essential step in properly managing your business data is to utilize a cloud-based storage system. With this type of digital data storage, you can easily and securely access your data from anywhere at any time, adding another layer of security and convenience to ensure that your business data is always safe and accessible.
This system provides a great deal of flexibility for businesses that are constantly on the go or have personnel working remotely, without sacrificing any important information. Plus, being able to store, collaborate, and share documents in the cloud makes it easy to not only save your files but also make them available instantly whenever they’re needed.
Back up your data regularly
Backing up your business data is essential to long-term success: it ensures you won’t lose important files, should anything unexpected happen. According to the pros, backing up your data regularly, at least once a week, is an absolute must for staying on top of things. Doing so will help you avoid facing a huge loss of vital information should something go wrong.
When crafting a data management strategy for your business, be sure to include regular backups as part of your plan to ensure you are always ready and prepared. Furthermore, make sure to keep all backup copies in multiple, secure locations so that you can rest easy knowing your information is safe.
Encrypt sensitive data to protect it from hackers
Your business’s data should never be taken lightly, but it should be handled with extra care if it is highly sensitive. To make sure your intellectual property and customer information remains secure, you should encrypt your data whenever possible. Don’t wait until a breach occurs to start considering encryption – it’s essential for protecting your data from hackers that are out there trying to get access to it.
Remember, prevention is always the best security action, and investing in a reliable encryption system can help ensure that no one – other than those to whom you have granted access – can gain entry into your systems or files.
Share data with only those who need it
One of the most important things to keep in mind when managing your business data is who has access to it. It’s critical that you only share the data with those who absolutely need to use it, and that they have clear instructions on how to do so.
When setting up sharing controls for your data, be sure to not only designate which users can see the data, but also what kind of actions they’re allowed to take—such as adding new information, or editing existing content. This will keep your sensitive information secure while giving users the ability to manage it efficiently and accurately.
Destroy old data that you no longer need
Our last tip is to be sure to destroy old business data that you no longer need. Shredding or burning CDs is the best way to do this; it’s secure and thorough at preventing any potential theft of your information.
You must take measures to protect not only your new data but also any existing documents which may contain sensitive details. Keeping an archive of everything is important, but make sure to routinely review what should be securely destroyed for a safe and efficient data management plan.
At the end of the day, effective data management requires careful consideration and planning. By implementing a cloud-based storage system, regularly backing up your data, encrypting sensitive information to protect it from hackers, sharing data with only those who need it, and destroying old documents that are no longer needed you can create an efficient and secure strategy for managing your business’s data.
It may take some effort upfront but in the long run, these measures will ensure that your company remains protected against potential security threats while allowing employees to access important files easily whenever they need them. Don’t wait until disaster strikes – start taking action today!