Some thoughts and learnings from the pandemic applied to data management.
Firstly, I hope everyone is safe and well. In these times and it makes you think and consider your work balance versus what you do daily and how it somehow relates to the work we all do professionally in data/information management 😊.
Applying learnings from the Pandemic to data management
When I started to think about this closely, I was myself surprised how many parallels I was able to draw between our new way of living and data / information management.
I suspect that if your household was anything like mine the ‘stay at home’ advise rallied us to take stock of what we had in the kitchen, freezer, store cupboards & in the toilet too!
Naturally very surprising what you FIND and what you NEED!
Thinking of the personal stocktake makes you think of what you have got in the business?
As an example if you are perhaps looking to optimise the cost of data management – not just data storage but overall management of data, you need to somehow take stock of what you have got, where it resides and who owns/manages it. I often use the 6W’s to pose the questions. Additionally most businesses today have a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy and numerous data lakes. Could you use this time to take stock of how much data you have, which data is stored where?
However, there is a slight difference in the end objective here – we are taking stock of your data not to create a shopping list but to reduce wastage and optimise the usage and performance of data.
The principle of data/information management stays same – but in this time – improvise – make the best of what you have got.
Keeping spending to a minimum.
Of course, spending capital (Capex/Opex) must be put to a minimum at this time as businesses look to save money where they can. However, overlooking data management and the benefits it can potentially provides could cause serious detriment to your business as we eventually come out of these environments.
Often this is down to the massive amount of auditing, compliance regulation and fiscal reporting that businesses must now do. Plus with the constant increase in amounts of data we consume, there is an heightened risk to breaches. Unfortunately some businesses have failed to put governance measures in place and have paid the price.
By governing your data as early as possible, you provide a safety net to you and your colleagues while also adding an extra string to your bow when clients and prospects recognise the value you play towards data, or indeed perhaps using it widely for developing new products/solutions. Nearly every business must assess and talk about the security measures in place to their potential customers, without these assurances those clients will soon run for the door.
Using this opportunity to check over the various solutions in place provides a chance to re-assess these areas and look at ways of improving what you already have.
Make changes now in preparation for the future.
Daily household chores like cleaning, filing and putting all the things in the right place (so you can find them next time!!), no one likes doing them, they usually get left ‘until tomorrow’ but ultimately, they must be done. This links in many ways to what data management is to business.
Managing your data isn’t the most exciting part of the business, it’s not like winning the lottery or a being given a special award, but unfortunately like household chores, it is essential that businesses do it.
Using this time to delve deep into your company’s data assets will provide tremendous benefits for everyone in the business when everything goes back to normal (hopefully sooner than later)…indeed the ability to analyse post this period will be significantly important. It is a rarity that such a large amount of time is available so it’s a really good time to take a step back and review things.
Ultimately, it is easy to get lost in the constant day to day business of generating revenue. However many, many times it is just as important to look at what your doing as a business and take stock, just like you probably have done at home recently.
There are many low cost software solutions or indeed free assessments available to you now (indeed you may have some sitting on the shelf already!!) that will provide you and your staff with a clearer mindset about how and where your data is…..take time to pause on this and reflect.
It will also put to bed any worries you may have had around data/information you hold or retain and on the flip side perhaps maybe change your priorities if you discover an area that needs support or addressing more than you had first thought of.
Boring as it may seem the importance of any steps towards Data Life cycle management and governance is an essential part of any business that can often be overlooked. Don’t waste this rare chance to ensure you are happy with what your business has in place and if there is any areas that need improvement.