How To Amp Up Your Business Data Strategy for Success

how to improve business data strategy

Any modern business is going to have certain levels and kinds of data that it deals with. You need to make sure you store anything of value to your business, and you need to work to keep it all safe and secure. However, there is a difference between having data and actually using it. Knowing how to amp up your business's data utilization and management strategies for success can take your company to new places. If you don't have a strategy in place, then you need to start one. Even if you already have a strategy in place, there are always ways you can optimize data strategy for the better. 

The Road To Analytic Maturity 

If you want to amp up your company's data utilization and strategy, then you need to follow a specific set of steps towards analytical maturity for your business. 

1. Company Requirements 

The data you collect and store needs to do two things. First, it should generate actual value. Second, it should help you move in the direction of specific strategic objectives. 

2. Sourcing And Collecting Data 

When you know what kind of data you want, you need to focus on the analysis of your potential data sources, how to collect it, and where that data actually exists. 

3. Technological Infrastructure 

It can be tempting to get caught up in the latest technologies here. However, you might be better served looking for scalability and flexibility, which slightly older systems that are cheaper and still secure can offer you. 

4. Converting Data To Insights 

The right data utilization strategy should make it easy to turn analytics into business-critical insights. Data visualization tools make comprehension and interpretation easier to accomplish. 

5. Process And People 

Data and analytics training can help involved stakeholders better use the data that they have access to, especially for anyone involved in decision-making for your business. 

6. Data Governance 

These are the practices that let data be shared across an organization. Someone needs to develop and implement protocols that encourage communication and collaboration of relevant data between all departments and parties across your company. Everyone can benefit from data, but only if it is moving freely throughout your establishment. 

7. Roadmapping 

All of your previous work should culminate in a roadmap that everyone follows. Identify your company's needs, source data relevant to those goals, and then apply in the direction you want to go. Your roadmap has to factor in the availability of staffing, external resources you might need to use, your company budget, and resources that might be in demand for competing projects. 

A Data Warehouse Isn't Enough 

Your company probably has a data warehouse for storing all the data that you are involved with. However, if you don't have a corresponding data strategy, then you are just storing data and not actively using it. That is not just a missed opportunity but failing to take advantage of what many businesses are already doing. If you want to maintain pace with your competition, then your data usage needs to reflect your company's goals, objectives, and ambitions. Data-driven decisions might double your chances of success in an age where information is so prevalent. Anytime you interact with clients or customers, you are going to generate at least a little data. That should be a growing and cumulative set of information you can use to accomplish many things. 

For starters, you should be able to anticipate client needs and cater to them before they even know to ask. Doing so can increase the number of transactions you get out of every customer while also boosting the average transaction value at the same time. Customer retention will obviously grow, and you can also start seeing your target demographic take shape so you know who to market to in the future. 

How To Safeguard Your Company Data 

Having a great set of data and a management plan or strategy for using it all is great, but not if the data ever gets compromised. You need to know how to safeguard it as well as what the potential consequences are if you don't. Chron has a good look at this. If you are not already taking steps to secure your business data, then consider these five steps. 

1. Know the Types of Data You Have:  Personal customer information ranging from credit card numbers to Social Security data are all things that criminals can use to exploit financial theft and identity fraud. 

2. Identify the Most Essential Data:  Your business might collect more data than it actually needs, and you should avoid collecting or keeping anything you don't really need to do business. 

3. Practice the Four Elements:  The Federal Trade Commission advocates for electronic security, physical security, employee training, and tight security involving contractors and vendors. 

4. Dispose of Anything Nonessential:  Burn or shred paper records, and utilize wipe programs when disposing of any pieces of technology. 

5. Assume Security Threats Will Happen:  Have a response plan ready in the event of a data breach or computer hacking, and disconnect compromised pieces of technology immediately. 

Failing to account for this can range from lost productivity due to loss of system to legal liability for anyone impacted by the compromise or loss of their data. 

If your company database includes customer and client information, it’s important to protect yourself. Start with proper liability insurance in case of a data breach or mishap. Ensure that your website has a dedicated subsection to let your customers and clients know what kind of data you are collecting and how your company uses this data responsibly. Ensure that you have an efficient way of manipulating the data you’ve collected so that if a customer or client requests, you can easily delete the data in question. 

When sharing data across your internal network, ensure that you have safeguards in place. This can be as simple as censoring specific client information and names. If an employee doesn’t require this type of information, you shouldn’t be sharing it with them. By ensuring that only a few employees and managers at the top have access to your uncensored data, you can better avoid misuse of your company data to ensure a secure, problem-free environment for your customers and clients. 

It Is All About The Money 

At the end of the day, anything about your business should be about money. The whole point of any for-profit company is to generate more revenue than it has in expenses. The right data-utilization strategy should include ways to apply all your data towards gaining more customers and making more money off of them. To top it all off, better data-management practices should make life easier for your professionals and even increase their productivity and job satisfaction. That leads to higher retention rates, and those are crucial in an age of tight labor markets where keeping talent is harder to do.

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