3 Data Management Challenges Facing Small Businesses

In order to make timely business decisions, companies spend a lot of resources creating viable decision support systems. In today's business world, business decisions are based primarily on facts, information, and statistics. The trend of data-driven decisions is on the rise, but it is important to recognize the issues and problems this trend might create.

Like the tools we use every day, in the right hands - with the proper approach, the potential of data-driven decisions can have an incredible payoff.

Similarly, without the proper etiquettes of handling data, it can become problematic, which could end up costing you time and money. We've identify these potential dangers to make sure you are better prepared to address them.

Organizing Data

Data is captured everywhere, polls from social media outlets, spread sheets from excel, customer relationship platforms (CRM) like Salesforce, sales reports and even from local libraries.

As your business starts to grow, you will gain various ways of collecting information, however the overwhelming amount becomes a challenge. Without any methods or strategies to organize your data properly, it will greatly affect the performance of your team and the efficiency of your operations. Data becomes harder to compare and analyze, it becomes difficult to draw old data, which eventually becomes useless.

In other words, organizing data systematically is critical for small and medium businesses (SMBs) to operate efficiently. With the right tools, you are able to strategize and organize effectively which in return, will then provide your staff with the right data instantaneously to be successful.

Storage

Unlike big businesses, with immense amount of resources to store data, small businesses generally lack dedicated departments or staff to operate stored data. Many SMBs do not anticipate the various ways and size of information they receive, which result with businesses deleting potentially valuable data just to create space. Information in the form of e-mails, documents, presentation, database, spreadsheets, audio files, programs, and applications are all crucial to maintain and protect your business - all which require a lot of disk space.

In addition, many SMBs store data inefficiently which then becomes difficult to analyze the data. SMBs tend to rely on tradition way of collecting data through paper and pen. Large amount of paper can clutter, and searching for old documents can prove to be difficult. Unless it is legal documents, electronic files are more secure and efficient since it easier to organize and access information.

It short, it is important to properly store your data and investing in a proper storage solution is valuable for your business. Consult with your trusted IT advisor and develop a plan that will best meet your business’s future needs.

Quality Data

It is important to have quality over quantity whenever concerning the data you are collecting. In order to gather quality data, you must understand your campaign to collect the right data. Second, the data you acquired must be clean and up-to-date. Third, the data you gather must be consistent once entered into your database. This means all letters and numbers are standardized and consistent with the information you have in your database (i.e. VP or V.P. should all be listed as Vice President).

Without filtering your data, it can clog up your database and end up contaminating your analyzed results. Dealing with large quantity of misleading data can cause you to create a strategy that would hurt your business’ productivity and even sales.

Bottom line: As SMBs begin focus more on collecting data and utilizing it, unique problems will follow. There are various tools and solutions capable of tackling these problems and to assist you in leveraging data without the headache.

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