Knowledge is power. Data isn’t yet knowledge, but it provides the evidence you need to acquire knowledge. Thus, acquiring data is only the beginning. Once you have it, it needs to be sorted and processed so that you can draw meaningful conclusions from it. Effective data management can give you valuable insights into buyer behaviour, who your clients are, and what they want. Valuable? Some companies would say it’s past price!
So, what is data management and how can you make it work to empower you? In this article, we’ll investigate this question and what you need to turn data into usable information.
Data Management Defined
Data management is a process that covers how you collect, store, secure, and use data with security and cost efficiency as guiding principles. As with most definitions, this requires a little unpacking.
When you collect data, consider what types of data will be the most useful to you and decide how you would use it. Simply collecting huge volumes of data which you never use is a pointless exercise. So, before you start collecting tons of information that may or may not be useful, consider your strategy. What do you need to know in order to fulfil your goals?
Some data management could be related to your internal processes, and here, you should have direct access to the people and systems that offer information. But things get more complicated when you apply data management to the customer experience.
For most companies, including those who are testing ideas before launching a product, this will mean finding out what their customers and potential customers think. Demographics may be among the data you want to collect, for example. Or you might want to know about the pain points that people experience when choosing a product like yours and whether your offering satisfies their needs. During the purchase process or after completing a purchase, what common issues arise?
Used correctly, data becomes knowledge that helps you to achieve greater efficiency and provide better customer satisfaction. As customer service specialists, we’ll focus on the latter. And, since most data management platforms focus on external, rather than internal data, we’re on-point.
Data Management Platforms
Sifting through massive amounts of data by hand is costly, even if you can handle the volume of information you have to deal with. So using software like Salesforce, MediaMath, and Hubspot to store and process data makes a great deal of sense. Unfortunately, the best data management platforms don’t come cheap and you may need more than one to get to the heart of the information you value. Even if the cost of the platforms seems affordable, you still need people to contribute to them and employees who access their analytics to draw meaningful conclusions. This type of IT adds to your costs. That’s why outsourcing data management is a popular choice. More about this a little later on.
Data Management Challenges
As we previously mentioned, the sheer volume of data to process can be absolutely staggering. If that data is stored in various places, it becomes even more difficult to collate results. And, of course, someone needs to evaluate data to ensure it’s accurate and worth analysing.
Then, too, some data has limited usefulness, and even if it’s useful, you need to transform it into a format that systematically and accurately reflects results based on your data gathering and data analysis goals.
Let’s not overlook the basic facts here: data gathering is easy enough, but analysis and interpretation are what make it useful, and these areas are remarkably complex and your company’s needs are individual enough to make this a complicated field.
Data management privacy is also very important. If your customers share personal information with you, keeping it safe is vital. Failing to do so breaches trust – and it’s all too easy to fail. Just take a look at 2021’s data breaches involving big names like Facebook, Android, and LinkedIn. If these tech companies failed to protect user information, how are you able to do so? Should you fail, you face a PR nightmare!
You Aren’t a Data Management and Security Specialist: What Now?
Data management systems are vitally important to companies hoping to find out more about who their customers are and what they most need. But even specialists like LinkedIn have failed. You aren’t a specialist, but you need the information that flows from effective data management. When providing data, your customers need to feel safe and they need to know that every possible measure that protects privacy has been explored and implemented. Without these assurances, you won’t get the data you need. The next question is” “What now?” And, surprisingly enough, the answers might be easier than you thought.
Implementing a Data Management System the Easy Way
Since data management is a specialised area, it may be time to ask yourself whether you’re positioning your company as a data management specialist. If you aren’t, the process of data management may not fall within your core skills. When an important support function falls outside the areas in which you specialise, it’s nevertheless possible to get best-in-class assistance through outsourcing.
When handling your customer-faced support and information needs, RSVP uses cutting-edge, and highly secure, software to collect and collate data that you need to grow your business. Apart from addressing customer enquiries and support needs, RSVP gathers information on your behalf; analyzes it; and gives you the distilled knowledge that helps you to more accurately target customer needs, address customer issues, and preempt queries. Needless to say, keeping your customers’ information safe is part of what we do.
So, when you’re looking for a company that does much more than just handle customer communications, RSVP is the place to be. Want to know more? Contact us to find out how we implement data management best practices on your behalf. Our Back Office Services and Solutions could be what you need to turn data into actionable information while safeguarding both the data, and the people who provide it.