Data Management – Best Practices & Tips for Small Business Owners
For modern organizations of any size, data is the greatest asset, and data management is essential to running organizations smoothly. When left unprotected or inadequately managed, business data can also be one of the greatest risks. As the volume of information within companies increases, so do the challenges of protecting and managing it.
Establishing effective governance practices is particularly critical for small organizations. Threat actors tend to target smaller organizations more often. Small businesses are also less likely to recover from a cybersecurity incident's disastrous financial consequences. Within 6 months of a cyber-attack, sixty per cent of small businesses fail.
Efficient data management is not limited to information security for small organizations. You need to exercise management of the data lifecycle, education of employees and other efforts.
Comprehensive best practices for data management minimize business risks, develop new business models, and streamline workflows for employees. Read on for a smarter perspective on data to explore a structure and use cases.
1. Identifying demands for data storage
For small businesses, more data storage space has become a requirement. Small enterprises' storage needs must be measured with regard to data, applications, and the ease of accessibility of such data.
Data such as records, addresses, databases, graphics, presentations, spreadsheets, and audio files would need more and more space to be stored. It is possible to get a better understanding of data storage needs by knowing how much data you are working with, and when, where, and how to access the data.
Effective data storage solutions, such as network-attached storage, direct-attached storage, or a cloud, can be easily defined and invested in when a data storage policy is established.
2. Let go of the redundant data
The significance of getting rid of redundant data from their records is not understood by many small business owners. But it is extremely important to remember that redundant data will cause confusion and ultimately result in tremendous losses for the organization.
Worse, the credibility of a business in the market may be destroyed, leading to consumer mistrust. For instance, this can lead to records being encoded more than once if a customer changes their contact information. These minor mistakes have the potential to become a big issue.
3. Give priority to information security
To avoid being compromised by unscrupulous third parties, data must be secured in the most advanced way possible. Small companies need to prepare an appropriate response plan that would be useful not only at the operational and tactical level but also at the executive level at times of breach.
Not only external threats but also internal threats should be given priority. Even if background checks on most workers are carried out and a trusted workplace atmosphere is established, sometimes someone takes an unacceptable action that can compromise information. Sensitive data should be encrypted to combat these small business owners and access should be strongly monitored.
4. Ensure that the data is readily available to your team
When it comes to accessing your data, there is a fine line between protection and convenience. You want it to be utterly impossible for someone without the proper authorization to gain access to the consumer data of your company, but you don't want authorized sales and marketing team staff to have to jump through hoops just to access the information they need to do their daily job.
Setting up unique logins and access permissions for individuals based on their particular role/data requirements is a good idea. Managers or team leaders who will need more customer information to access than analysts or sales managers. Therefore, they need to have more permissions than those who need certain data types only. This also helps ensure security within your organization for your customer data. Setting up different permission levels makes it easier for members of the team to access the required information instead of attempting to set up guidelines and approvals that can cause complications, be too stringent in some situations, or be too flexible in others.
5. Planning for backup and recovery should be adopted
Data is not just a nice bonus for all e-commerce sites, however, the basis for performance monitoring and decision-making processes that drive the growth and evolution of the organization.
As a consequence, it is not only important to avoid unauthorized access from outsiders, but also to back up everything and ensure that you can recover them in the event of a disaster.
There are several options available in terms of data backups, and if you have the means, it makes sense to incorporate more than one fail-safe for faults or outages that reach your key information repository.
Many companies will have to retain mission-critical information on external hard drives, local servers, and even optical media prior to the advent of inexpensive, easily available cloud-powered data backup solutions. There is no justification today to disregard the appeal of cloud storage since it can be both more cost-effective and infinitely more convenient for backup and recovery purposes.
You should try to figure out the strategy that will enable your operations to restart as soon as possible in terms of preparing for the disaster recovery, while also decide whether you can do this on your own or whether in this context you need to work with an external service provider.
Most importantly, the backups should be periodically generated so that stability can be maintained regardless of when a catastrophe strikes. Moving into a good routine and preparing for the worst while hoping for the best will place you in the best possible position for long-term resilience.
Data management is a potential opportunity
You're probably wrong if you think you don't need to concentrate on data management. Every company needs to put successful data management at the forefront of its business strategy. Companies that manage information successfully have a competitive advantage.
Good data management includes knowing where your data is stored and who can access it. Moving to the cloud and embracing a cloud-based ERP can pave the way for streamlined operations and mobile apps.
For modern organizations of any size, data is the greatest asset, and data management is essential to running organizations smoothly.