6 Tips for Mastering Data Management
Across all of the different technologies used to run your business, there’s a lot of data to organize and manage. Master data management is a method for not only organizing and storing data but also making sure it is consistent and uniform across different software platforms and storage locations.
A master data record plays a critical role in ensuring that the data you’re using for business decisions is accurate. If your data is bad, it can’t be relied upon for business decisions. Data management can validate that data and ensure it is fit to inform the decisioning process.
Data uniformity is also key when different technologies are using your business data at the same time for different purposes. Suppose you have multiple copies of customer data being used by different marketing technologies. If one solution is sending emails to a customer named “Richard Brown” while another is executing direct mail campaigns that refer to the same customer as “Rich Brown,” they are going to notice—and it’s not going to make them feel valued by your company.
That’s just one of thousands of examples of why a master data set is key for your business. With effective master data management, you can streamline operations, reduce data errors, and improve both efficiency and performance for any business function relying on this stored data.
If you’re looking for ways to become even more effective at data management, here are six tips that will make a difference.
1. Implement steps to “clean” master data.
Dirty data can come in many different forms for your business. In addition to data entry errors, some inaccuracies are introduced during the address and form validation processes.
Your organization can take simple steps to reduce the risk of duplication and produce clean data records for your master data sets. Your website can connect to the U.S. Postal Service’s address verification system to ensure that addresses are both accurate and standardized, and online forms can be built with drop-down menus and other features designed to reduce data entry errors, resulting in clean data your business can rely on.
2. Establish a “master system of record.”
Data can exist in many different locations throughout your company’s technology architecture, but you can improve data uniformity by establishing a master system of record that serves as the sole authority when seeking out accurate data sets. Decisions can function as a master system of record for your business, and other software solutions can integrate with this platform to validate data and search for existing records.
This improves consistency of data throughout your organization, helping ensure that other software solutions are using the latest, most accurate data for their respective functions.
3. Prioritize seamless integration when choosing a data management platform.
In addition to maintaining a master system of record, effective data management requires seamless integration of different systems to share data back and forth. When data is siloed or lacks transparency in an organization, it increases the risk of dirty data and inconsistency in your business data.
4. Update CRM data from your master data sets.
Remember Richard Brown from above? His situation can be solved by using master data sets to update data in specific software applications, including your CRM solution. If your master data sets have been validated for accuracy and cleaned up by removing duplicates and other errors, your sales and marketing departments will have much better success engaging your target audience and generating ROI.
5. Extend your data, document, and record retention periods.
Depending on your industry, you may have certain requirements dictating how long records and other data need to be retained before they can be thrown away. If you have a reliable system for data management and storage, though, you don’t have to get rid of this data at the first available chance.
Take advantage of effective data management and extend how long you hold these records, as a service to your customers and for future business needs you may not currently envision. If your data management is well-organized, this can be achieved without any added strain on your company.
6. Use a business rules engine to manage complex data consolidations.
Your business might face a number of instances in which data consolidation is highly complex and involves a number of different variables and moving parts. From international operations to business acquisitions, these complex data consolidations still need to be managed—and the key to success is implementing the right data controls.
A business rules engine can help. By creating a system of rules that accounts for complex variables, you can automate movement and consolidation to improve accuracy and speed up an otherwise tedious management process.
Make data management easier than ever.
If you aren’t using the right system, the task of data management can be overwhelming. But with data management solutions and strategies in place, you can reliably organize, validate, and manage data in ways that improve performance for all of your business technologies.
Better yet, these management solutions can scale as your data volume increases in the future, providing a management system that is able to grow alongside your business.
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