Data is key
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t undersnad it well enough – Albert Einstein
Article written by Joe Brickle
Why is data key when it comes to making decisions?
Making decisions is part of the everyday running business and no matter what industry you are in; you will understand the importance of the value of data has when it comes to making any decision that is based on evidence. If you use data in the correct way, you can predict the likely outcome in any decision made and whether you are likely to succeed or fail.
Data, as with many aspects of your business, has a lifecycle. Data is collected and stored, managed and shared by users then finally used to help automate processes.
The way in which data starts its journey through the lifecycle will set the foundation of how reliable and strong your data is. Imagine you are building a house, before you start building up you must pour a solid, concrete foundation. This is your base, this is what will determine whether the house is going to be solid, safe and trustworthy enough to hold what you envisage your dream to be. If you take any shortcuts, you will jeopardies the future steps. The same goes for you the foundations of your data. If you ensure that the strength of your data platforms, integrity and reliability are all solid, nothing is missing, then your risk of poor decision-making drops significantly, you will find you trust in the process. Failure to do so, will make your decision making, almost primordial and based purely on instinct alone, failure is almost guaranteed.
With more and more business classing themselves as “data-driven”, they will understand the importance of just how much good data is at the core of the business and will rightly ensure the data is collected to the best practices and is then stored correctly and securely. Helping to ensure the reliability and the integrity of the data over time.
Trusting the source and the journey
Acquiring data is great, also having the means and the knowledge of how to track the data back to its original source will add to the integrity and the confidence in the data you have pulled. Making sure that you use only data collected from reliable and legitimate sources are going to be key in your decisions made. The integrity of your data is going to be crucial to the quality of your data, if you know the source, you are going to be able to trust the accuracy and the quality of the data provided.
Collecting the data and storing it securely is great, to make the data perform at its best, you need to make sure the structure and the formatting are all correct. Imagine there was a failure and you had to fall back onto a back-up, your systems recovery process is going to rely on being able to sync the data. If there are gaps, your back-up will fail, duplicates or dummy entries, your back-ups will fail, and this can all lead to further issues such as breaches or corrupt data fields. Having good structures in place will go a long way to helping to ensure you have the structures needed in your data to protect against these compromises.
If the data you have is unreliable, any decision you are planning on making off this data should be challenged, at every level. How can you justify the rationality behind a decision that has been implemented based on poor, unstructured and untrustworthy data? Put simply, you can’t and shouldn’t.
Collect your data, store your data, give your data structure and lock it down to keep it safe. Your business relies on the accuracy and integrity of the data it uses in its day-day activities as well as its decision making. From onboarding and staff training to procurement, through to delivery, your data is what will help drive success, look after it and it will take care of you.