“Manage your data like a product.” In that one sentence, McKinsey perhaps sums up one of the most critical ways organisations can fully realise their data potential and value.
Ensure that data is put to work to achieve its value as a commodity. Recognise the strategic importance of managing data through effective processes and policies so your organisation can trust and leverage the data more effectively.
As Bryan Bosman, solutions architect at Atvance Intellect, points out, having a smooth and seamless data management process helps to minimise potential errors and introduces reliability.
“With reliable and up-to-date processes, companies can respond more efficiently to market changes and customer needs,” he explains. “How? Think of it like a trail of breadcrumbs into a forest of data. If employees can find the right data within a few clicks, they spend less time wandering the forest and more time using the data to make informed decisions. It’s the ultimate data road trip – mapped out, destinations planned and results achieved.”
In addition to the value in accessing and using data to resolve problems or transform decision making, best practice data management processes will significantly simplify audit and compliance checks. If the business is following well-defined processes, then it doesn’t have to start from the beginning every year, and it is bolstering its security and defences through the use of robust data management systems that are automated and intelligent.
McKinsey believes that data management can transform an organisation’s compliance posture on both the governance and security sides, especially if it’s correctly integrated into the business processes. Capabilities such as classification, dynamic alerting and rule-based enforcement are increasingly combined with compliance-management solutions to prevent regulatory violations proactively.
“I’m sure every company has been there – starting an audit or compliance process from scratch, and it can be excruciating,” says Bosman. “A lack of data processes and not having a data management strategy not only adds unnecessary complexity to the business but can also increase risk. If we dig down into these risks, they sit not only on the security layer but across the efficiency layer. Inefficient processes can lead to bottlenecks, redundancies, silos, poor system integrations and even organisational blind spots.”
A blind spot is always a problem. If the business doesn’t know about a problem, it can’t fix it. Unrecognised blind spots can put the organisation and its customer’s data at risk as there may be vulnerabilities within the data structure or business that go unnoticed and unprotected. It has become critical that organisations protect their data on multiple fronts, particularly in light of the global regulations that govern data and how severely a breach can impact a company’s reputation and bottom line.
“You can put your intellectual capital at risk, run out of storage capacity, pay so much more for problems that you don’t need to have,” says Bosman. “This is why it’s important to smooth over your data management processes, as this will create data pipelines, embed reliability and redefine functionality throughout your business.”
Data is changing the way that every business makes decisions. It gives the organisation a more holistic and unified real-time view of its current state. It opens the door to faster and more realistic decision-making based on what’s happening right now, not two months ago. And as the tools and technologies that shape how companies access, manage and interpret the data evolve, so will your ability to benefit from it.
It is worth the time and effort spent smoothing over the data road and creating a precise map throughout the organisation
“It changes the data intelligence dynamic,” says Bosman. “Data moves from spreadsheets and silos into the wider organisation and changes from poorly contextualised information that offers limited value and visibility to a resource that can alert the right people in real time. Data intelligence can potentially save lives in manufacturing or high-risk environments, and it can save critical operational time in other business environments. Also, with appropriate data management practices and systems in place, the organisation can tap into the potential of technologies such as machine learning, internet of things and so much more.”
It is worth the time and effort spent smoothing over the data road and creating a precise map throughout the organisation. Integrated and intelligent data management provides a holistic view of the business and allows for incremental changes, rapid resolution of issues, identifying vulnerabilities and assisting in many other business challenges. Utilising processes and platforms designed to manage your data effectively offers a far more coherent approach to decision making and digital transformation. Data and processes woven deftly into the business with the right tools and expertise result in a far more efficient and profitable organisation.
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