Data is boring on a surface level, but it’s vital to the continued success of a business. You need data to keep track of customers, make important marketing decisions, and set up recurring payments. Merely collecting information without a plan is unwise and ineffective. The data you collect, how you use it, and the way you store it are three crucial factors in your growth and security. Are you making smart decisions with your data?
1. Collect the Bare Minimum
Data you don’t have is data that can’t be lost, stolen from you, or leaked. Collecting and storing everything you can possibly store is a waste of space and a security risk. Scale down what you take and make sure there’s a reason for everything. If you find that you’re collecting too much data or the wrong kind of data, purge what you need and adjust your strategy going forward. It’s easier to manage what’s important than it is to collect as much as you can get and sift through it for the good parts.
2. Utilize the Cloud
Businesses of all sizes, from startups to large corporations, use cloud storage for their data. Cloud storage is convenient for countless reasons. One of the biggest advantages of cloud storage is that data can be accessed from anywhere – employees on business trips and employees working from home will have access to everything everyone in the office can access. Security and maintenance are handed over to the cloud storage provider, eliminating a major concern for business owners.
Not only is the cloud great for storage, but platforms like EngageOne Converse utilise the cloud to allow businesses to create, modify, and optimise chatbots which they can deploy to different messaging channels.
Cloud solutions are often customizable and expandable, allowing them to grow with your business. If you aren’t already using the cloud, it may be worth looking into.
3. Keep Off-Site Backups
If you keep all of your data in one place, you’re failing to consider some huge vulnerabilities. Machines overheating, fires, floods, and natural disasters can destroy all of your data. Keeping off-site backups reduces the chance that you can lose your data forever. Even if a catastrophic event is highly unlikely, it’s better to be prepared. You don’t want to find yourself unprepared and unaware with no way out of a devastating situation.
4. Keep Your Data Organized
It’s hard to use your data when everything is a mess. It may be worth hiring a data expert to organize everything you’ve collected. Although it’s tedious, having hundreds of organized folders and subfolders and making them searchable is one of the easiest ways to handle and use your data. If you need something specific, you’ll know exactly how to find it. If you need to purge something, it’s simple to isolate and destroy the files you no longer need.
5. Go Paperless
A sheet of paper can’t be encrypted. It can easily be destroyed or misplaced. Keep all your data digital. Digital storage makes data easy to organize and review. Another benefit of going paperless is that it will reduce your supply costs. All the money you save on paper, copiers, printers, ink, staples, and file cabinets will add up over time. Use it to treat your employees or expand your business. When you go paperless, everyone wins.
6. Have a Disaster Plan
Never store or use data without a disaster plan. Even the most secure institutions can be hacked or breached, sending important and sensitive information into the hands of people with bad intentions. Don’t assume it won’t happen to you. Create a data disaster plan and assign a role to everyone involved. Who will send out a pre-prepared email to the affected clients or customers? Who will take to social media to calm the worried crowds of commenters? Figure it out ahead of time. Even if you never experience a data disaster, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve prepared a response.
Excellent data management is paramount to building customer or client trust, growing your business, and turning a profit. Make sure you stay abreast with industry security standards and marketing research to help you stay ahead of the game.