Data Management

What Is Data Management? It’s Not Sexy...

What is data management? Data management is the ongoing process of ingesting, storing, arranging and maintaining data your organisation creates or collects

...But, neither is Low Productivity & Bad Decisions

Let’s face it, unless you’re among the few who get legitimately excited by it (...guilty), ‘data management’ just isn’t sexy. Folks like us are outliers. Albeit outliers in high demand, given that data are effectively unconverted capital dressed in 1s and 0s.

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”

— the guy who invented the internet (Tim Berners-Lee)

It’s far more attractive to talk about data when it’s preceded by the words ‘big’ or ‘deep’. People’s eyes light up. Mention data ‘management’ and half the people leave the room. Throw in the word ‘governance’ and those who remain glaze over.

So what is data management?
Why is it so important
And how can you advocate for it in your organisation?

That’s what we’ll cover here.

What Is Data Management, Exactly?

A brief brush up on the basics. What data management is, is really quite simple:

Data management is the ongoing process of ingesting, storing, arranging and maintaining data your organisation creates or collects.

Pretty straight forward.

Yet so many businesses still lack consistent and coherent data-management practices. The causes are many, often centred around corporate antibodies (resistance to change), assumed expense (it needn’t be expensive, and the ROI over time is a no brainer) and a fear of uprooting legacy processes and IT infrastructure.

Get it right, and those fears turn out to be falsehoods.

Organisations that shake off the stubborn reluctance often discover data management to be probably the smartest way of optimising growth and compliance using plentiful resources right under their noses.

Why Is Data Management So Important?

The question is almost rhetorical if you’re reading this as someone with an executive stake in financial, operational and compliance performance. You should know this.

But we’ll spell it out anyway:

Data management performed correctly:

  • Improves ‘data-to-decisions’ strategic thinking
  • Iron-clads compliance and lowers fraud risk
  • Improves marketing campaigns#
  • Protects customers
  • Reduces cost

A lack of stringent data-management practices, or poorly-performed DM can saddle organisations with data-quality issues and non-compatible data solios that limit their ability to run business intelligence platforms (BI) analytics applications, or worse, make faulty business performance findings. Not what you want.

What Does Data Management Do to Your Data?

Actually getting your data management process off the ground to get more bang for your data buck requires a 10 step process. The process starts with defining and shaping a data architecture and finishes with interpreting data with collaboration between different departments.

We’ll spare you the granular on that here, but fundamentally, data management makes your data:

Visible: Not having the right data available anytime, anywhere hinders
growth potential, agility and change resilience.

Reliable: We don’t really need to spell out the strategic, competitive and cost consequences of unreliable data, do we?

Secure: With hacking and ransom attacks now almost a fact of doing business, data management is a key combatant in the fight against it.

Scalable: As your data grows in volume, your data analytics pipeline needs to remain scalable so that it can deal with change and continue informing the big picture.

With the June 2021 POPIA grace period now behind us, data management also iron-clads your data to constantly evolving data-protection regulation.

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