Imagine you have a business of your own, and you’re so busy making products and selling them that you have no clue where all the data is. At the end of the day, you’d have no idea how many products you sold, who you sold them to, and what kind of profit or loss you made. That is basically why you need data management for small businesses.
Small businesses usually spend a lot of time managing finances, delivering products, and maintaining profitable commerce. However, amidst all of these priorities, they forget about one essential aspect- their data.
If you’re interested to know what data management comprises and what it does for small companies, scroll down this article and read it thoroughly. You won’t regret it.
What Is Data Management, Anyway?
Consider data management an administrative process. Its job is to acquire, validate, store, process, and protect necessary data. This way, it ensures easy reachability, accessibility, timeliness, and reliability of your data.
If that definition was too complicated for you, here’s a more straightforward explanation:
If you run a business, the data that is relevant to your products and services, as well as your audience, is essential to you for many reasons. So, you probably write everything down in a register. This register now holds your data, and the hardcover protects it from environmental damage, right? Essentially, you’re managing your data! This is data management and how people used to do it several decades ago. Today, you have software and tools that can collect data for you. Also, some specific professionals are dedicated to data management only – data managers. And they don’t just hold and protect your data; they also organize, verify, and process it.
Who Is A Data Manager? What Does He Do?
Data managers are knowledgeable professionals, educated in their specific field of, you guessed it, data management. They help develop and govern systems that are primarily data-oriented. These systems aim to meet an organization’s needs and make decision-making more straightforward and more efficient.
The various functions of a data management consulting services include:
- Raising more awareness about data and its importance across an entire organization
- Promoting the best practices and implementing them
- Promoting the adoption of useful and practical data-related guidelines, standards, and processes
- Lowering all types of duplicative efforts
As a data manager, you should also have the following essential and useful skills:
i. Being able to look at important, unorganized data and analyze it
Data analysis is a massive part of the management. It incorporates looking at various summaries and lists, identifying any patterns, and analyzing the results. Then, the data manager should be able to create presentations and make this data easily readable for other people in the team. His skills also involve using the information effectively and improving various programs after the analysis.
ii. Database Software Navigation
As mentioned earlier, there are various software and online tools that help with data management. As a data manager, you should be able to navigate this software and use them creatively for benefits.
iii. Files And Account Management
One of the many vital skills of a data manager is to track all the online files and accounts efficiently. By doing this, they help other people in the team keep track of their own accounts, IDs, passwords, and further details. They should be able to organize different files and folders, both on a network and a computer. Plus, they should also have enough knowledge about copying, moving, uploading, and downloading different files and folders. Understanding emails, sending attachments, and managing the inbox is also a part of a data manager’s skill set.
iv. Designing And Planning A Database
Database design concepts should come easily to a data manager. They should understand the different benefits and limitations of various database types, like an online and PC database. Being able to actively participate in both short and long-term plans regarding database projects is a must. Moreover, figuring out an efficient storage and analysis plan is also one of the expertise of a skilled data manager.
v. Understanding and helping small businesses
Data management for small business is a skill. A new startup requires unique expertise in guidance, building effective plans, and implementing various techniques. A skilled data manager should be able to tackle a small business just as wisely as a large-scale organization.
For IBM Data Management Consulting: https://www.existbi.com/technology-consulting/ibm-consulting/
What Is The Goal Of Data Management?
The ultimate purpose and goal of data management are to help businesses, organizations, and individual people collect different forms of data and use it for beneficial reasons. They help business owners optimize their company and make decisions based on relevant, important information. It serves to prevent a business from wandering blindly in the market, making guesses, and risking their money. Its aim is to give the user more accurate details so they can take every step with calculated risk and a proper plan.
Why Data Management for Small Businesses is Necessary ?
Suppose you run a makeup store online, offering multiple kinds of skincare and beauty items. You take orders from customers online and deliver their parcels to their doorsteps. After a month, you will probably want to know how many people ordered from you, how many packages you delivered, and what profits you made. When, suddenly, you realize you never gathered all of that critical information. So, now, you have no idea what your audience likes, what products are more in-demand, and whether you made a net profit.
Now, if you had all that information, you would be able to:
- Understand your target audience better and focus on their needs
- Make your advertisements and marketing strategies more targeted so they would work more efficiently
- Innovate your products and services based on what’s more in-demand
- Fix prices based on their affordability and your desired profit
- Invest in products that give you more profit
- Simultaneously track how much profit or loss you’re getting
- Take appropriate actions and decisions to grow your business and fix mistakes
This scenario explains precisely why businesses need proper data management. If they don’t collect, store, and protect the data they need, they cannot make relevant decisions to grow. It hinders their growth and development. They make guesses and risky decisions that should have otherwise been based on evidence and accurate data.
Data management for small businesses is even more important because these decisions mentioned above are essential to their growth and development as a startup. It helps them move on the right track, be aware of their competition, and make appropriate decisions that are wholly based on real, accurate data.
How Does Big Data Benefit Small Business?
There are several different ways that small businesses can put their data to fair use. Along with the ones mentioned above, here are other ways such companies can utilize their big data and benefit from it:
1. Identify customer preferences
As discussed earlier, your data helps you understand what your customers like best and what is not their favorite. Based on this information, you can invest in the products that your audience wants and is interested in. So, this way, your big data gives you leverage. It helps you attract your target audience as well as retain it.
2. Identify different trends
A data manager’s job is to identify different patterns, behaviors, and trends in the data. Are people moving more towards skincare as opposed to makeup? Is your audience reacting better to video ads instead of text and graphics? This type of big data helps you improvise and go with the flow. Otherwise, you’re just stuck in one place. You’ll keep doing what you have been doing for the past many years. Even though the trends have changed and these tactics do not work anymore, you won’t have any idea. Thus, it stops you from growing.
3. Being aware of the competition
Thankfully, we have come very far from when businesses had to pretend to be customers to know more about their competition business and its insights. Today, financial data is readily available. You can do your research to determine which brands are doing better than you and precisely what they’re doing to make them better.
4. Improving transactions, processes, and operations
Industrial and manufacturing companies can use big data to improve their operations by several folds. Machines show real-time data, they’re connected to various tools, and you can quicken many processes that initially involve a lot of time and effort. Retail companies can now successfully manage their stock based on data generated from their websites, weather-forecast, web searches, social media, and whatnot. The possibilities are endless if you’re an innovative individual.
5. Recruit and manage talent
Individual data from within the business can help you identify more talented, devoted, and knowledgeable personnel. This way, you can engage them in activities that they could do better. It helps manage your team so you can get more efficiency out of every individual.
6. Upgrade business model and strategies
Suppose you’re noticing a more extensive response on fashion instead of beauty. If makeup and skincare aren’t generating enough revenue anymore, you can completely change your business model. You can transform your business into a clothing store, for example. Or, you can merge them both and add a clothing section to your makeup store. Big data helps you think of different ways to generate income and indicates when it’s time to upgrade.
Some data management guidelines and suggested practices for small businesses:
If you are a small business, here are a few tips to make data management more effective and convenient for you:
1. A maintenance schedule is essential
A regular schedule to maintain data is non-negotiable. It helps ensure that your information has zero errors and there is no security risk.
2. Outsource when you can
Contrary to what most people believe, outsourcing isn’t really that bad. Third-party operators can turn out to be a great help because they’re sometimes more equipped and ready to take care of data than you are.
3. Visual expression is always more effective.
When displaying data and explaining it to your team members, try to incorporate more visual explanations rather than texts. Use charts, graphs, and diagrams to present your findings so those who do not know data management can understand you better. This way, you can all be at the same level of understanding and make decisions quickly.
4. Prioritize security
Considering how important your data is, don’t forget about prioritizing its security and privacy. Make sure you perform all the necessary measures to protect the business’s data from hackers, data thieves, and viruses. The security system should be consistent and very robust.
5. Make sure you have a backup.
Backing up data is usually forgotten, but it is actually crucial. Use online clouds and backup all your data there regularly. If not, save your information on an external hard drive or put it in a USB flash. Make sure you have it on you at all times for quick and easy backup.
6. Allow access to the data.
It’s good that you want to keep your data private and secure but don’t forget to make it accessible for other business members. You and your team members should not have to spend days trying to unlock and access the information they need.
Here are some faqs about data management…
Why Is Data Management Important In Businesses?
Without proper management of data, a company would completely lose all insights of the business. Everything depends on it, from making decisions and investments to recruiting employees. So, if a business is to grow, it requires proper data management.
How Can Small Businesses Utilize Big Data For Their Benefit?
Small businesses can use big data to decide what stocks they want to invest in and what should be left out. Plus, they can use it to make the right business strategy and be competent enough in the market. A new startup can sometimes have a hard time challenging its competitors. So, data management can become a strong backbone for these small businesses.
What Is A Data Management Strategy?
Data management for small businesses involves a good strategy. It comprises precisely how you’re going to manage the data, the software, the tools, backup, and much more. In simpler words, it’s a roadmap for businesses to achieve the goals they have set. You can learn more about the various important benefits of having a sound data management system on ExistBi. Plus, they offer consultations to help you create a strategy as well.
Data management isn’t a complex and complicated concept. It’s actually quite simple, and if you’re using a register to write down your profits and losses, you’re already doing it. If you’re a small business, it’s important to take data management seriously. If you need help, guidance, and professional advice, Contact ExistBi. We have plenty of everything.