In may 2017 the Economist declared data as the most valuable asset in the world, even more so than oil. Furthermore, as we progress through 2020, the supply of data is only becoming greater and greater. It has never been easier for businesses to harvest valuable data.
Data on its own is however of limited use unless it is mined for insights. Many businesses are so caught up in gathering as much data as possible that they are forgetting to mine the data they currently possess. On top of this, because so much data is flowing into their systems, valuable insights are being lost to the raging torrents of new, potentially inaccurate, data.
Dying of thirst for insights
Organisations have all of the data they need but are not utilising it to its full potential. With so much data flowing in, it can be hard for Data Analysts and IT Managers to keep their heads above water. Powerful and useful business insights are being obscured by huge volumes of data flowing into the systems that contain them. Organisations are drowning in data but dying of thirst for insights.
CRM Systems flooded with data
CRM systems provide a useful case study for this phenomenon. Customer data constantly flows into companies CRM systems through various plug-ins or human input, this data is crucial from an operational perspective. However, how often do businesses stop to consider if duplicate data is being added? How often are multiple phone numbers or email addresses being added for the same customer? Which phone number is correct? With so much data flowing in, it can become impossible to know what is accurate or not and therefore valuable insights are lost.
Data Management is the solution
What is the solution? Organisations cannot simply turns off the taps to stop collecting data otherwise their valuable data reservoirs will dry up, likewise, they cannot ignore the problem and hope it goes away.
The answer is twofold and is rooted in effective data management. The two problems that must be solved are the regulation of data in an organisations systems and the decontamination of data currently in their system.
In order to screen data before it enters into a organisations system they must install a type of data flood gate to control the flow of data. In the case of a CRM system, this would prevent duplicate customers being added or email addresses with the incorrect format being added. This is vital in order to maintain the quality of data.
Secondly, after years of gathering data in their systems it is simply not viable to delete everything and start again. Organisations must decontaminate the data in their systems. In CRM terms this would be performing a mass data cleanse and duplicate removal. What was once a dark and opaque data reservoir becomes a bountiful spring of business relevant insights.
How will you manage your data throughout 2020, will you ride a sinking ship into the storm or will you take the helm and sail your organisation to calmer seas and uncover the treasure of cleaner data?