The Importance of Data in an Increasingly Digital World

Tyler Scott · May 15, 2020 · Short URL:

How Properly Managed Data Has Become a Key Business Factor


In today’s world of big data, it is imperative that companies be ready to meet the challenge of doing business. As the world becomes even more enmeshed in digital data, companies need to be able to create robust central databases that will help them make decisions of all kinds.

Governance is necessary to make sure that a company is dealing with clean, non-redundant information. With these new techniques, companies of all sizes will be able to leverage their proprietary data to their advantage.


Types of Master Data

A company of any size generates large quantities of data. From customer lists to product information, a company needs to keep track of this vital information in order to deal with daily challenges.

Master data does not include numerical data for the most part. Sales figures, return on investment, and other numerical indicators are kept in separate systems. These systems are extremely important as well, and they should be kept with as much care as master data systems. There are concrete ways to keep these types of information together, making sure that sales figures are associated with customers and so forth.


Big Data Has Transformed Business

“Big data” may sound like a buzzword, but is a key concept that has transformed the business world over the past several years. When companies make data-driven decisions, they have a better chance of success.

Companies in all sectors have taken advantage of big data in updating their operations. Healthcare applications of big data include keeping a customer’s medical records in the cloud. This way, doctors from multiple offices can keep track of their patients and understand all of their conditions. Big data has also helped healthcare professionals predict and monitor their patients’ vital signs in the hospital. Prescriptions and appointment data can also be included in the system.

Retail companies are another user of big data. Retail involves the management of inventory, customers, employees, service records, and sales leads. In addition, retail data includes sales figures, though these are not generally considered part of a master data management system.

Manufacturing has the reputation of relying on legacy systems, but many forward-looking manufacturers are taking advantage of the many benefits conferred by data management. Robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence are only a few examples. Sensors are being installed on manufacturing equipment and products alike.

Financial services is another area where big data has been transformative. Financial service companies have been notorious for non-centralized databases since they too have relied on legacy systems. When financial service companies use data to their advantage, they will be able to keep their customer databases up-to-date and examine every interaction they have had with each individual.

Other service-based companies also find their databases to be useful in doing business. They can help to track their interactions with customers and may be able to help to predict customers’ future actions through AI systems. Service firms like cleaning, personal care, and property management can use data to differentiate their services from the competition.


Using Data Governance for a Competitive Advantage

Data governance is one of the ways in which an experienced data management consultant can help a company organize itself and take control of its own information. This involves cleaning up databases and making sure that the information is complete, current, and accurate.

Pulling multiple siloed databases together is another important function. When companies keep their data in separate systems, there is no way to reconcile this information. This means that many opportunities for integration and validation may be missed.

It is especially important to make sure that there are no duplicate records in a master database. An AI system can help to weed these out. A duplication error can come about through mistyped information or putting in the wrong data in one field. Customers may also update their information in one database without another database being aware. With master data systems these databases would speak with each other and automatically rectify the changes across all locations.


Greater Accessibility and Compliance

Companies must make sure that their master data systems are able to be used by all employees with a need for the information. If employees believe that the master data system is too complicated, they will be tempted to create their own offshoot databases which will not be kept up-to-date like the master data.

When companies are careful about how they keep their information and enter new data, they will be able to move forward with confidence. Hiring database managers and master data management consultants to help with the systems can be a huge advantage in moving forward.


Data’s Importance in Business

Even the smallest businesses need to keep track of their data. Understanding how to get organized through data governance is one of the keys to hiring a master data management consultant. When companies take care to maintain their centralized master data and their associated transactional data, they will be able to form new insights and compete well in the digital landscape.

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