Wednesday, 11 April 2012

How Data Management Can Bring Value to Your Business

How are you approaching your data management and do you think you are extracting the greatest value from the information at your disposal? In this blog we will explore just how effective data management can be in bringing value to a business.

The value of data management is largely subjective and dependent upon the sector in which a company operates. For instance the value of data management for Wiltshire Farm Foods, a food retail client is wholly different from the way adidas or a local council perceives the value they gain from our data management services.

On this blog we have widely discussed what data management means to different companies and have argued that larger multinational organisations tend to have different but no less complex data management issues than smaller companies. We have also revealed the significance of data accuracy in Why Data Cleansing is So Important, highlighted the role that data management has in understanding your customer base in Why Data Management is Vital to Customer Insight and shown how this helps to improve customer relations in How Customer Insight Can Improve Customer Relationships.

In all of these pieces it has been demonstrated that through managing and cleaning data it is possible to improve the ways in which a company understands their customers, build better relationships and save costs through improving marketing efficiency (i.e. through the reduction in duplicate marketing mailings and improved customer service). The question is however, what value could data management bring to your business?

Approaching Data Management

The unfortunate truth is that many businesses see data management as a chore and purely a number crunching exercise best left to those with no imagination. It is often the case companies that see data management in this way do not appreciate its importance and that fail to recognise that a lack of accurate and readily accessible data can be disastrous for a company.

At EWA we see things a little differently and believe that data, and specifically accurate, complete and up to date high quality data is one of the most valuable assets at any company’s disposal. Unless data is fit for purpose, consistent and available the business cannot function, in the same way that operations would cease without money, people, buildings or equipment.

To reach the point where your data is this valuable the goal should be to capture data in digital form once only, as close as possible to the time and place of the observations, decisions and results that it is required to reflect. Understandably, determining the costs associated with managing this information or calculating the ROI can be challenging. When data has the potential to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness the company and shape business strategy however, the question should be whether your business can afford to ignore effective data management in the future?

Extracting Potential from Data Management

The insight which effective data management provides can help make strong and healthy strategic decisions for a company by analyzing a company’s historic and future performance, its customers’ present and future needs, the performance of their competitors and information relating to the external environment. The key is having the imagination to analyse and present data in a consistent, accurate, timely and easily understood way, so that is can be used to the greatest effect at the most relevant time.

Up to date and timely reporting ensures that these decisions can be made at the correct time, before the opportunity has been missed. For example, in a retail situation a manager reordering stock needs to have accurate and up to date information on the current stock levels so that the costs incurred with both under or over stocking are avoided. Similarly, a district council sending out letters must have accurate information to avoid wrong addresses, missed bills and correspondence. In both instances, costs can be saved in the long run through having timely insight and accurate data.

So What Can You Do?

We understand that in many organisations, both large and small, there are some major, yet unrecognised or misunderstood data problems; problems such as duplicated and inconsistent data which lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

To cope with and resolve these problems you can reach out for a better data management strategy over the next 12 months. You can also elevate the importance of data management so that it becomes a vital asset to your business, helping you to improve your operations and stay ahead of the competition. By reading this blog you are half way there to recognising the importance and value of effective data management. Why not take the next step to bringing your data back to life and get in touch today?