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What Is Data Management And Why It Is Vital

What Is Data Management?

Data management involves collecting, storing, organizing, protecting, verifying & processing essential data and making it available to your organization.

The effective management of data within any organization has grown in importance in recent years as organizations are subject to an increasing number of compliance regulations, large increases in storage information storage capacity and the sheer amount of data and documents being generated by organizations. This rate of growth is not expected to slow down as IDC predicts the amount of information generated will increase 29 fold by 2020(^). These large sums of data from ERP systems, CRM systems and general business documents if often referred to as big data.

Data management includes the following topics:

– data security
– data sharing
data destruction
– data reference and master data management
– data warehousing and business intelligence management
document and record storage
records management
– data governance
– data architecture
– database management
– data quality management
– contact data systems

If you need to build a data management plan, here is a great free resource from the university of California.


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Why Is Data Management Important?

Data management is important because the data your organization create is a very valuable resource. The last thing you want to do is spend time and resources collecting data and business intelligence, only to lose or misplace that information. In that case, you would then have to spend time and resources again to get that same business intelligence you already had.

93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington). As you can see having a strong data management plan is very important for the success of your company. Below are a few other benefits of a strong data management plan.


Good data management will make your organization more productive. On the flip side, poor data management will lead to your organization being very inefficient. Good data management makes it easier for employees to find and understand information that they need to do their job. In addition, it allows them to easily validate results or conclusions they may have. It also provides the structure for information to be easily shared with others and to be stored for future reference and easy retrieval.

Cost Efficiency

Another benefit of proper data management can be that it should allow your organization to avoid unnecessary duplication. Be storing and making all data easily referable it ensures you never have employees conducting the same research, analysis or work that has already been completed by another employee.

Operational Nimbleness

In business the speed at which a company can make decisions and change direction is a key factor to determining how successful a company can be. If a company takes too long to react to the market or its competitors it can spell disaster for the company. With a good data management system it can allow employees to access information and be notified of market or competitor changes faster. As a result, it allows a company to make decisions and take action significantly faster than companies who have poor data management and data sharing systems.

Security Risks

In addition there are multiple risks if your data is not managed properly and your information falls into the hands of the wrong people. For example electronics giant Sony was prey to computer attacks which led to the theft of over 77 million PlayStation users’ bank details. A strong data management system will greatly reduce the risk of this ever happening to your organization.

Reduced Instances Of Data Loss

With a data management system and plan in place that all your employees know and following it can greatly reduce the risk of losing vital information. With a data management plan things will be put in place to ensure that important information is backed up and retrievable from a secondary source if the primary source ever becomes non accessible.

More Accurate Decisions

Many organizations use different sources of information for planning, trends analysis, and managing performance. Within an organization different employees may even use different sources of information to perform the same task if there is no data management process and they are unaware of the correct information source to use.

The value of the information is only as good as the information source. The old idea of garbage in garbage out. This means that decision makers across the organization are often analyzing different numbers in order to make decisions that will affect the company, and result in poor or inaccurate conclusions without a data management system in place.  Data entry errors, conclusion errors and processing inefficiencies are all risks for companies that don’t have a strong data management plan and system. For a great article on this topic click here.

The corrective costs of inadequate data management can be significant and can run into millions of dollars from a single occurrence. The primary reasons of bad data and data loss is that there is no data management system or plan is place or the plan or system is of poor quality. The unfortunate part is that often organization realizes that they have an issue only after an issue arises. Instead of being proactive most organization are reactive, which in the long run costs them significantly more.

When Is The Right Time To Review Your Data Management?

There is no right time other than right away. You do not want to have an information leak ever with your business. Data management is an issue you do not want to put on the back burner as it could result in costly consequences. The right time to review and implement a data management system if you have not already done so is right away. If you already have a system in place then reviewing once a year annually is what we would recommend.

Should You Get Outside Assistance With Data Management?

There are many benefits to getting outside assistance with your data management. For one, an outside firm that specializes in data management will be more of an expert that your internal resources. This can bring added safety to your organization. In addition it is usually less costly as an outside firm that specializes in data management can obtain economies of scale.

Don’t let your organization fall into this trap. Make a commitment today to put a strong data management plan and system in place. If you would like assistance in this matter contact one of our experts and they will put you in contact with the right resources to get a strong data management plan and process in place.