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A Practical Guide To Data Management For

Small Business

Data is a critical part of modern business, and understanding how to manage it can be difficult. This guide will provide you with some practical advice on managing your data so that you can focus more time on growing your small business.

The first step in dealing with data management is to understand what type of data you have. Data comes in many different forms such as photos, videos, text messages, emails, and other digital files. The key to successful management is knowing what types of data exist and then organizing them accordingly for easy retrieval later when needed.

Make A Plan, Ensure That Storage, Standards, And Performance Are All Scaled

Organizing your data begins with some planning. List out each type of data that you have and then determine how to organize them into folders, spreadsheets, or other digital files. This will help keep your data from being too disorganized allowing for easy retrieval later on when needed. Keep in mind the following:

  • You’ll do better to go beyond big when it comes to data storage and scaling. 
  • When predicting the equipment, data warehousing, storage space, and procedures your company will require in the coming years, plan ahead.
  • As you scale, keep an eye out for data discrepancies, which tend to rise in tandem with the number of data sources and technologies you employ. 
  • Teams tend to keep track of too many events, with each member labeling them differently and recording duplicates on occasion.

Maintain Data Compliance

Regulators are putting more focus on data management procedures than they did just a few years ago. The European Union’s GDPR responds to the need for increased consumer control over their personal information, while California has passed its own law called CCPA in order to protect people who have credit cards from being hacked or having accounts compromised by cybercriminals.

As a result of these rules, businesses that deal with consumer data are required to keep track of constantly changing compliance requirements in many sectors. You must only collect and store the kind of data that the law and your customers allow.

Make Data Useful To Everyone In The Organization

The idea of data silos is more than just an abstract concept. It prevents your company from taking action on the information it has about its customers, which in turn limits how well they can be served! Keeping all teams updated and accessible to one another will help with this effort- providing them both timely updates, as well as access at any given time, enables decision-making that could not happen otherwise.

  • Allowing team members to have constant access to data makes for better decision making 
  • More efficient and accessible customer relations
  • Convert silos into wells of information

Choose The Best Tools For Data Management

You’ll need to pick a set of tools for your data management, but the number of options for storing, managing, and analyzing data is almost as large as the amount of data.

Starting with a Customer Data Platform to handle first-party data is an excellent way for most companies. You can be sure that important consumer information will always be captured and standardized across all of your touchpoints, no matter what format it’s in or how old the contact list may seem at times! Having the best tools will:

  • Fuel your company’s growth with a customer data platform
  • Gain insight into how you can improve your marketing strategy
  • Put more value on consumer feedback and reviews 
  • Reduce the cost of storing, managing, and analyzing huge amounts of data
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Continue To Keep Track Of Changes

The data management needs of an organization change over time. You need to be able to keep track and update the information in order for it to still serve its purpose so that when individuals leave or new ones come on board they can do their job effectively with ease. Maintaining current records becomes less complicated when you have created systems put into place already! When you keep track of changes you’ll:

  • Decrease your chances of errors
  • Keep important records safe
  • Get more done with less time
  • Make it easier for new team members to start

Develop A Data Culture By Educating Your Employees

You need to ensure that people know and follow your data governance policies. They will also have to be taught how to work if you want them to be successful in their role as a steward of the business’ information assets.

Make Data Security A Top Priority

Data breaches are like a fire; you can put it out with water, but eventually, the flames will rise again and burn your business even harder than before. You need to be ready for when this happens by making sure all systems are in place at every level of your organization so that data is safe from cybercriminals–especially those who want nothing more than damage a business’ reputation or steal personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, social security number, etc. When security is a top priority you will:

  • Be prepared for any situation that might arise
  • Equip yourself with what you need to protect your systems and clients 

Automate As Many Processes As You Can

As automated data management becomes more sophisticated, some activities will be replaced with it. For example, ensuring uniformity and compliance across huge datasets is difficult without automation – but this process can now happen automatically! When you automate you will:

  • Reduce the time required on repetitive tasks
  • Eliminate unnecessary data entry

Data management can sometimes seem intimidating but following this practical guide will provide you with both the skills necessary as well as an understanding of why good practices are important throughout the data management process. 

There you have it, friends. A practical guide to data management for small businesses. We hope this has been helpful and informative in understanding the importance of managing your company’s digital footprint. If you need help with any aspect of marketing or business development that we haven’t covered here today, please call us!

Do You Need a Data Management Team You Can Trust?

Cantrell’s Information Technologies has been providing Data Management systems and cybersecurity to business owners throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. We are dedicated to the efficacy and vitality of your data. There are currently more endpoint devices than people in most companies, so it’s important to understand how many of those devices are accessing data and what they’re doing with that information. We provide multiple layers of security for HIPAA, FINRA, and PCI compliance as well as training against IT threats when it comes to computer viruses. Many of our customers initially work with us to help them improve the way they store, access, and protect their critical business data from cybercriminals. We also help them move or expand their offices. We support the needs of our East Bay customers including businesses located in Concord, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, and Pleasant Hill. Contact us today for your free consultation!

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