This is a quick and simple introduction into the world of data management, we hope you find it useful. We have also created a video version, you can check it out below.
Data Management is an umbrella term that covers everything put in place by an organization to manage information and utilize it to make decisions.
The buzz word that has taken over pretty much every industry and large organization in the last decade is “data-driven”. You can find millions of articles, studies or blogs out there on why you should adopt a data-driven culture in your organization. To sum it all up, being data-driven means you can open the hood on your organization and see how it’s operating. You can identify problems and opportunities faster than you could without data. You can analyze past and sometimes even real-time data to make informed decisions about the future. Ultimately when you're making an important decision, you want as much information and context as you can possibly get, so you can make the decision confidently.
Being able to make data-driven decisions gives you an incredibly strong competitive advantage in the marketplace, because very few organizations are. Building a data-driven business is difficult but if you pull it off, it’s way easier to become a leader in your market because you can leverage information your competitors just don’t have.
And on the flip side of that, if you lack any type of data management in your company - good luck staying competitive, it’s probably not going to happen.
In this New Vantage Partners report from 2022 on The State of Corporate Data Initiatives, it states that only 26.5% of organizations have achieved their data-driven goals. So the majority of organizations out there are still struggling, while about a quarter of them have figured it out.
So if you're looking to get ahead and stay ahead, becoming data-driven should 100% be part of your plan. But building an effective data-driven culture only works when it’s built on strong data management foundations.
Here at Polyseam we believe the 3 most important pillars to a strong data management strategy are Data Governance, Data Architecture and Data Quality.
Data Governance refers to all the organizational rules that are put in place around data, including roles and responsibilities of team members, access control, policies, procedures and standards. Everything that will enforce a high quality of data securely flowing through the organization. Governance is typically documented but looks different for every company depending on company size, what your systems are, and what types of data you're dealing with.
The next important pillar is Data Architecture. This is the actual design of the systems involved in how data flows through your company and gets where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. Broadly speaking this includes your infrastructure which could be in the cloud or big server rooms at your company and all the applications running on those servers which are responsible for making the data flow from place to place. It’s the hardware and software.
The last pillar of a strong data management strategy is Data Quality. Having accurate and up-to-date data is an essential part of being data-driven. All systems need to be monitored and data needs to be cleaned very carefully. The data you receive in reports needs to reflect what reality is, which is the whole point of being data driven, so the quality of the data is super important.
This was a very high level introduction to data management but hopefully you have a better understanding of what data management is, why it's important for organizations and also what some of the most important pillars of a data management strategy are.