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Improving Data Integrity at Your Small Business

By: Ryan Kidman

 

Dispelling Data Center Security Myths

The challenges of running a small business manifest themselves before you can even get it off the ground. There’s capital, human resources, defining your product, building it, generating leads, acquiring customers, and much more.

Another part of running a small business involves data gathering and analysis. Data is a driving force in most businesses today. It helps to create a basis for marketing changes, understand trends, and help you run an organization more effectively. Using data to formulate a new marketing plan is part of running a successful operation. Since there’s so much data out there to go ensure the integrity of the data, much less use it effectively.

That’s why it’s important to have and for reinforcing the Integrity of your data, understanding it and organizing it, and using it effectively. Whether you just started your small business or have been established for a while, here are some ways to approve the data integrity business.

The Importance of Data Integrity

Data is a driving force in most businesses. Without quality data, insights and analyses are pretty much off the table. Without those insights, it’s difficult to generate leads and conversions, or understand what your customers want.

In the past, data collection involved cookies on your website. Cookies—text files containing minute amounts of data used to personalize a user’s web experience—are a part of everyday browsing. Unfortunately, they’re a minor security risk and many organizations have shifted from cookie-based data collection to first party data collection. This means more management and organization of data is necessary if you want to actually be able to assess, understand, and collect meaningful data.

Data Integrity helps you make sure your data confused, stored properly, and organized effectively. Utilizing a data integrity standardization process, business owners can increase their profits, understand their customers, and guide their business into the future.

Accuracy

Data is only as good as its accuracy. Accuracy and consistency with the two most important variables when it comes to data integrity. Think of protecting data as a multi-layered process. Integrity should be accurate in its domain (all data should contain values), at the entity level (ostensibly avoiding duplicates), referentially (making sure data gets stored and used in the correct way), and user definitions (basically tackling anything that falls out for the range of the other three items).

Good accuracy in your data Integrity platform leads to better data reliability. Maintaining accuracy comes down to a few best practices. These include regular audits, checking up on things, using the proper platforms, and performing risk-based validations. It’s also a good idea to double check your accuracy and numbers. That’s just common sense. But taking the extra step to ensure accuracy can only reinforce your data integrity and make it completely usable for the entire company.

Accessibility

The accessibility of data within your organization is one of the key ingredients to successfully implementing any data integrity scheme. How else are you going to make those vital decisions if you don’t have accurate information? Reliable data and accessible data are super important for just about any product change, marketing move, or business decision in your organization.

Data Integrity systems should be designed for quick, efficient, and ultimately reliable access to data. It’s important to understand who created the data, where it came from, and who can access it now. This sets up the organization for success. The quality of data and its integrity are not mutually exclusive categories, but accessing and enriching data to be as usable as possible both contribute to the overall data integrity framework.

Protecting Personally Identifiable Information

When breaches happen, they expose the personally identifiable information of customers all over the world. This information could be as simple as a name or address, but often contains—financial information including credit card numbers and back accounts.

Some of the worst breaches in recent memory have exposed everything from financials to credit report data, which then likely made its way to the dark web to be sold to the highest bidder. Reinforcing your organization’s data integrity means protecting this information, especially as it pertains to your customers. Failure to secure their personally identifiable information is a failure to the customer, and ultimately to your entire organization.

Reducing Human Errors

Reducing human error in data management is essential for any business. Human error doesn’t usually happen on purpose. That’s why training and other solutions (like automation) can help reinforce data integrity. Automation is truly powerful. It effectively reduces the time it takes to manage data and makes it more accurate. Automation can also help businesses make better decisions overall. It also helps with reducing human errors! Reducing human error in your data management is critical.

To improve accuracy and reliability of data, there are a few things that you can do. Using checklists, for example, can help with consistency. Verifying input with automation software and being prepared for the unexpected can also reduce human error. Appointing a data integrity manager or issuing a data integrity digital solution can handle much of the necessary work to reduce errors throughout the entire process.

Published: March 28, 2022
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Ryan Kidman

Ryan Kidman is a startup-investor and serial entrepreneur. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about blogging and covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow him on twitter: @ryankhgb

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