Data management is a vital driver behind business success, and it helps to ensure that data is obtained, verified, and subsequently securely stored in a standard format. Effective and reliable data organization is crucial to implement so that your users, customers, investors, and employees know that data in the organization’s possession is not only accurate and current but easily accessible.
Data organization can become incredibly complicated, however, and in many cases, there may be conflicting methodologies at work with your data teams. To help your teams manage their data more effectively, we’ve compiled some of the best practices around for reliable data organization
Establish & Maintain Strong Conventions
While naming and cataloging conventions may not seem incredibly important, it is arguably one of the most important things to remember when managing data manually or creating data warehousing code. To be able to effectively create, manage, store, and most importantly, retrieve your data, you will need to be able to find it.
This means your file or reporting system must have a standardized file naming system that is not only user-friendly now but will hopefully be user-friendly to whatever data management team you are running years from now. Standardized, descriptive, debug-friendly, and future-friendly file names will make all of your data interaction simpler.
Consider Your Metadata Carefully
Your metadata is going to be the descriptive information you include in your data, about your data. It will generally contain important information about the content, permissions, and even the structure of the data that you are dealing with, so that future use is made easier and more straightforward.
Metadata should contain data important for discoverability, but should not be overinflated. Consider data such as the data’s creator, what the dataset contains, a list of field descriptions, and information on why the data was created and through what means.
One of the best data management practices is documentation. When documenting your data, it’s smart to produce multiple types of documentation, including some context so you know how to utilize the file and why it even exists.
These documentation levels include:
- Details on what software was used, including the version
- Context as to why the project was created, what the goal was, etc.
Foster Data Culture
When you are committed to data culture, it’s important to make sure that the leadership in your department or company puts analytics and data experimentation at high priority. Executive sponsorship could even enable multiple teams across your organization to have stronger data collaboration.
Build Strong & Secure Data Systems
One of the biggest commitments when managing large quantities of data is ensuring that you are providing a secure environment to secure the data, that meets or exceeds current standards for strong privacy. This security will be the lynchpin for your foundation of trust with your clients and customers since the protection of confidential or private data is one of the prevailing concerns in data culture.
To complement secure data storage, you’ll also need to make sure that processes are implemented that not only prove your data is secure, but continually evaluate that security and improve upon it when flaws or exploits are found. In a business landscape that features increasingly prevalent violations of data security, many consumers are now basing their buying decisions around companies that have solid track records of keeping customer data safe.
Backup All Data
One of the most vital best practices for anyone running a data organization on valuable or irreplaceable data is to duplicate it and store it securely. This will often mean implementing a 3-2-1 methodology, where you keep three copies of your crucial data, stored a minimum of two different ways, with one copy always stored off-site.
Common storage types used are desktops & laptops, networked or server storage, external hard drives, USB drives, and cloud storage. By varying the types and locations of your data storage solutions, you can be sure there will always be at least one copy accessible, without wasting money on needless redundancies.
Use a Robust Data Management Suite
Using a single working business tool can make it easier for you to find the information that you need. Utilizing high-quality data management software can keep all of your data collected in one place, making it easier than ever to find the information you need. This allows you to create data sets and scheduling for data extracts that will work well with what your business needs.
Shared Best Practices Lead to More Effective Data Organization
There is a lot to consider when dealing with data organization, particularly when your company may be dealing with incredibly large amounts of it. However, making sure that many of these best practices are implemented in your company can lead to far more effective and resilient data management, giving you the edge you need in a highly-competitive market.