So why do so many businesses still struggle to give priority to the management, storage and use of their business and customer data?
Understandably many will be focused on other issues such as brand building, lead generation, winning and closing sales, with customer communications and activity simply and habitually recorded within email platforms, spreadsheets and manual methods without thought to future use.
This may initially work for a start-up but once your business and team grow, the subsequent increase in prospect and customer interactions, makes keeping up-to-date records more important to store, track and share.
Poor data management practices will result in disparate or duplicate data being held in data silos by different teams or individuals within your organisation. This lack of data sharing can be the source of huge inefficiencies within any business and cause any number of problems including:
- Duplication of Effort: Without visibility to a shared database, teams may end up individually replicating datasets, creating unnecessary duplicate work and effort.
- Dirty Data: Sustaining clean, up-to-date and accurate customer data becomes impossible to achieve across disparate datasets, the result being individuals or teams making decisions based on incorrect or inconsistent information.
- Data Analysis Issues: With data stored in different places and formats, undertaking any kind of data analysis can be problematic. Collating and making data consistent within one platform will be arduous and time consuming but required before any meaningful insights can be garnered. Individuals may also hold vital information, which may be unknown or potentially of greater value to the wider business and may even be lost when the data owner leaves the business.
- Data Access Issues: Not having easy access to one centralised database can substantially impact productivity, customer interactions and the resultant customer experience.
- Security Issues: With ever heightening data security risks and breaches, it is critical for businesses to get a handle on their data management and demonstrate adherence to tightening data protection legislation. This includes all aspects of data management from capture, storage, authentication, privacy, accountability, accuracy, updating, archiving, use and sharing. Continued poor practice puts the business at high risk, with potential for data to be lost, compromised or even hijacked for ransom, which in some circumstances, may result in business operations failing.
Lack of good data management practices will impact negatively on your team’s confidence, morale, productivity and performance and foster a culture of siloed working and deficient team collaboration, severely restricting business growth and success.