Data management is an important business driver that ensures data is acquired, validated, stored, and protected in a consistent manner. It is critical to develop and implement the appropriate processes so that end users can be confident that their data is reliable, accessible, and up to date. Here are some best practices for your business to consider in order to ensure that your data is managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. You can check out more on SAP integrated business planning Malaysia here.
1. Establish solid file naming and cataloguing conventions
- You must be able to locate data if you intend to use it. If you can’t manage it, you can’t measure it. Create a user- and future-friendly reporting or file system, with descriptive, standardised file names that are easy to find and file formats that allow users to search and discover data sets with long-term access in mind.
- A standard format for listing dates is YYYY-MM-DD or YYYYMMDD.
- It is best to use a Unix timestamp or a standardised 24-hour notation, such as HH:MM:SS, when listing times. Users can take note of where the information they are looking for is coming from and find it by time zone if your company is national or even global.
2. Think about metadata for data sets carefully
- Metadata is essentially descriptive information about the data you are using. It should include information about the data’s content, structure, and permissions so that it can be found and used in the future. You can’t rely on being able to use your data years down the road if you don’t have this specific information that is searchable and discoverable.
- Catalogue items such as data author, what data this set contains, descriptions of fields, when and where the data was created and why this data was created and how.
- This information will then assist you in creating and comprehending a data lineage as the data flows from origin to destination. This is also useful when mapping and documenting data relationships. The first step in developing a robust data governance process is to collect metadata that informs a secure data lineage.
3. Data Retention
- Storage plans are an essential part of your process if you ever want to be able to access the data you’re creating. Find a data backup and preservation strategy that works for your company. A solution that works for a large enterprise may not be appropriate for the needs of a small project, so consider your requirements carefully.
- There are a variety of storage locations to consider which are desktops or laptops, networked drives, external hard drives, optical storage, cloud storage, and flash drives.
- Documentation is essential in data management best practices. It’s often a good idea to create multiple levels of documentation that explain why the data exists and how it can be used.
- There are certain levels of documentation such as project-level, file-level, software used and context.
5. Data culture dedication
- Making sure that your department or company’s leadership prioritizes data experimentation and analytics is part of committing to data culture. This is important when leadership and strategy are required, as well as when a budget or time is required to ensure that proper training is conducted and received. Furthermore, having both executive sponsorship and lateral buy-in will enable stronger data collaboration across your organization’s teams.