Data is a critical element of just about any type of business today, yet so many businesses treat data management as a secondary concern. It may be possible to manage and run a business without good data management, however, we find that managing a business is a lot easier if data is properly collected, stored and used.
To harness the power of data management best practices, however, businesses need to root out their data use “worst practices.” Below are the most common practices that reduce the value of data to a business.
Bad Practice #1 – Collecting the Wrong Data or not Enough Data
“Data is our most valuable asset” is a common saying, but unless there is an accurate inventory of the data being collected, the data could be more of a liability than an asset. Avoid falling into this common data management trap by creating and maintaining an inventory of your business data.
Bad Practice #2 – Not Using the Data
If you have made the investment of time and resources to capture the data your company needs to operate efficiently, don’t make the second data management mistake and fail to use the data. This failure usually stems from a company not revisiting its data inventory and business processes to find new ways to leverage the data to improve business outcomes.
Bad Practice #3 – Misreading the Data
Mistaking causation for correlation is just one way businesses misread data, but it can cause costly mistakes when it happens. When using data to analyze performance or identifying a solution to a business problem, be sure you aren’t making the data tell a story it doesn’t fully support. Your data may be able to tell you to expect an increase in sales every July, but it won’t necessarily be able to tell you exactly why it did not increase as expected this year.
Bad Practice #4 – Being Careless with Data
Often connected with a lack of knowledge of what data the business is collecting, being careless with data is becoming a very big risk factor for businesses of all types. Besides the obvious risk of losing sensitive data due to negligence or a security breach, there is a bigger risk of making a major business decision based on data that is inaccurate, stale or improperly labeled.
Bad Practice #5 – Not Refreshing the Data Toolset
While it is wasteful to replace perfectly good tools if they are performing well, it is similarly wasteful to keep using a tool when a new one could improve your performance well beyond its cost. Data analytics tools keep improving and data use in business continues to evolve so it can pay to keep up with the latest data-use developments in your industry.
Don’t let data management issues be a drag on your operational efficiency. Triple Helix has helped many companies find solutions to “small” problems that provided a large impact to the bottom line.
Our Phase 0 Review can help your executive, operations, and administrative areas assess where opportunities for improvements exist. Contact us to learn more about our process and how it can help your business.