Remember that saying “garbage in, garbage out”? It’s still relevant in our super-connected, digital world. If lousy data enters your business systems, any corresponding reports and analysis utilizing that data are worthless.
Lousy data leads to erroneous business intelligence and poor business decisions. These can kill a small business quicker than a big one. So, how do you ensure quality data?
Design forms and choose programs employees can easily use. A CRM with lots of bells and whistles is not helpful if sales and marketing have difficulty loading customer data. Consider self-service business intelligence tools. These tools allow users to securely access and see all the relevant data they need to complete their projects.
An up to date data governance policy means secure and reliable data. All employees need to understand the purpose and correct use of all data. Good data governance ensures a speedy response to unexpected events and regulatory compliance.
Even automated systems get it wrong sometimes, so a real human combined with a computer needs to check for data duplication and obsolescence every so often. Systems upgrades often lead to lost or duplicated data. Pay particular attention to data migration during an update.
Small to medium businesses now more than ever can gather incredible amounts of data to grow their business more efficiently. Planning and prospering for the future enabled by detailed information. But trashy data could wreck your business. Take out the trash using the steps above.
Author: Kris Keppeler, writer for Crossing Genres on Medium.com, and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award-winning podcast producer. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.