7 Tips on Creating Data Management Strategies for Small Businesses

Did you know that over 70 percent of employees have access to data they shouldn’t? This leaves companies susceptible to data breaches, and it makes it difficult to make company-wide updates when they’re necessary.

When you learn about creating data management strategies, you give your company the chance to stay ahead of the curve. You also give your employees the chance to stay safe on the job, and you keep your clients’ safety as a priority during daily work routines.

So, what do you need to know about managing business data before you get started? How can you know the strategies you’re creating are going to be effective in the long run?

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

1. What Are Your Objectives?

If you don’t outline your goals, then you’re going to be wasting time and resources. It takes both to collect, analyze, and store data, so you want to know what you’re doing with it all before it comes in. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started:

  • What goals do you have?
  • What data is needed to ensure those goals are met?
  • What insights or information can help you make progress?
  • Which team members would be the most helpful in making that progress?

Once you have your goals outlined, it’s best to pick two to four to start with and then move from there. You might even find that, as time goes on, focusing on those smaller goals has actually contributed to your bigger goals. It’s also going to be a lot easier to move forward with creating processes.

2. Create Strong Processes

Once you know what you’re doing with your data, it’s time to plan out processes for creating, preparing, analyzing, storing, and then distributing that data.

You can start with identifying team members who will own data, and stakeholders who are going to play a role in it. From there, create an outline for each step of the process. Ask yourself specific questions during this step, and then take your answers and make an action plan that works for you and your business.

3. Secure Your Data

Securing your data is another huge consideration to make here. A lot of online attacks target smaller businesses because they’re assumed to be more susceptible, but with the right protection, you can help remove that risk altogether.

Considering things like password protection and encryption, embracing data backups, and bringing on security teams (or outsourcing your IT services) are all great ways to protect yourself.

4. Familiarize Yourself With Industry Standards

No matter what industry you work in, there are going to be certain things you have to comply with. Data is a big one in a lot of industries, and it’s something that relevant authorities are likely to keep a close eye on. If you don’t comply, legal trouble can arise quickly.

A few of the most important strategies you should consider include data quality, warehousing, analysis, and especially storage and sending. With an organized strategy, compliance isn’t likely to be a huge issue.

5. Ensure Everyone Is Educated

While your data processes might meet compliance standards, it’s crucial to make sure your employees do too. A great way to do this is through training and education programs that set your employees up for success.

This isn’t just for cyber data, though.

For example, if your company deals with chemicals or hazardous materials, your employees are going to need access to that information, which is where a safety data sheet comes in handy. You can find more information here.

You can either outsource this step, or you can create a training team among your employees. Either way, having a select few with an in-depth knowledge of your processes is going to help the rest of your business out in the long term. Not only can they train others, but they’ll be around to answer questions and provide support as needed.

6. Build an Exceptional Data Management Team

While a data management team can help educate employees, they’re also going to have other responsibilities, and they’re going to make a significant impact on your company’s data handling.

Even with the best technology, you’ll need to remain picky when it comes to choosing team members or hiring new ones. At a minimum, they’re going to need to understand and manage data collection, analysis, protection, and implementation.

It’s also important to ensure these people have the proper certifications and education. The more your team understands, the better they’ll be able to handle threats that come their way.

7. Back Up All Your Data

Finally, we move to the most important step — backing up all your data. There are a lot of things that can compromise your data, including system crashes, power outages, other natural disasters, or even simple human error. Backing up your data is the best preventative step you can take for your systems.

A great place for storage is in cloud systems. Your data will be stored offsite with this service, and they’ll remain safe no matter what. You can also keep a physical copy on a hard drive of important documents for an extra layer of safety.

Ready to Start Creating Data Management Strategies?

Now that we’ve gone over a few of the basics, it’s time for you to get started. No matter what industry you work in, you can take advantage of creating data management strategies for you and your team.

Not only can doing this help protect your company, but it can also protect the clients you do business with.

For more on the latest in business and cybersecurity, check out the rest of our website.

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