In the last two years, 90 percent of the world’s data was generated, according to Forbes. In an increasingly digital world, data generation will expand exponentially.
Each day, your business is creating data that details your company’s employees, clients, finances, work patterns, online searches, social media and other daily work. But what is your business doing to capture that information? As time goes on, you might find that your business has significant data drains or data loss that hinder reflection and future growth.
Why is it important to capture data?
Saving some types of data is an obvious necessity. For instance, businesses must keep information about income, budgets, invoices and other financial records to file taxes and report earnings to a board of directors. Files of contact information and work history for clients, vendors and business partners allows an organization to maintain their level of work.
But at the most basic level, businesses should analyze collected data to inform future decisions, allowing companies to budget, plan for growth in various departments, recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their workflow and much more. Properly analyzed data provides a clear, objective record. However, businesses that have data drains cannot rely on their data as a relevant record.
How can you spot a data drain?
A data drain is when you’re losing data your business generates. Unfortunately, you can’t go back in time to collect and archive data after it has disappeared. Here’s how you can determine if your business has a data drain.
- You don’t have a plan to collect data. It’s important that your business outlines the types of data it wants to gather. In addition to employee, client and financial information, the categories of data you gather should be tailored to your business. You may want to track the amount of people who come into contact with your products and services, how potential and loyal customers interact with your brand, sales numbers, reports, communications, social media engagement and more. Have a conversation with each department in your organization to make sure your system is capturing the data they create on a regular basis.
- You don’t know where data is stored. Do you know where you could find your organization’s data? Do department heads and employees know how to access data? If organizations do not regularly access and analyze data to inform business processes throughout each quarter, the resource is being wasted. Additionally, data security is extremely important in the digital world. Your business should be sure that your data is safe from cyberattacks, system failure and user error.
- You don’t collect detailed data. Be diligent about outlining and evaluating the type of data your organization collects. Data is information that provides context to figures. If you don’t have enough information to provide that context, your data sets could be incomplete.
- You don’t have a data recovery plan. Data recovery plans outline data restoration Disasters can range from damage done to hardware by a natural disaster, user error or cyberattacks. A thorough disaster recovery plan is detailed and delegates tasks to a team of information technology professionals and internal employees who can restore your business’ data as quickly as possible.
How to plug a data drain?
Your IT providers can work with your organization to perform regular data backups. Programs such as Infomax’s iGuard Managed IT and Complete Cloud services provide constant backup with information being stored in multiple secured data centers. Infomax will also train employees to spot potential cyberattacks and system breaches.
Additionally, document management systems offer tremendous ease in capturing information. Your documents will be stored in a secure archive that is easily searchable when it’s time to analyze data.