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Why data is the most valuable resource on Earth

Technology is revolutionising the way the world operates today and it is the data sitting behind the technology that makes it all possible. There is no denying that.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Optical and Intelligent Character Recognition (OCR/ICR) and advanced analytics are among those that are transforming organisations across the globe.

It is this new “valuable” commodity that is used when major business decisions are made and is key to helping organisations better understand their customers and the market(s) they are in. Without data, how do we understand what our customers like and what drives their decisions? Without data, how do we understand if our marketing efforts were successful? Without data, how do we know where we stand financially?

The business efficiency consultant Marina Martin of Business Efficiency for Dummies states ‘Inefficiencies cost many companies anywhere from 20-30% of their revenue each year.’ Imagine what your organisation could accomplish with 20% more cash or the positive impact these funds can have on your bottom line.

Three tips to managing your data effectively and securely

1. Focus on the Information, rather than the device or data center

When implementing a new information system or updating a current system, focus on building an information infrastructure that optimises the way you find, access and maintain critical business information. Think about how users can collaborate better and how automation, reporting tools and mobile applications can help get the best out of your data.

2. Safeguard your business with data encryption

Security is paramount – and one of the primary steps toward security is encryption. Encryption scrambles text to make it unreadable by anyone other than those with the keys to decode it. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance in the U.S. “50% of targeted cyber-attacks are directed at companies with fewer than 2,500 employees.”

  • 69% of organisations lost important business information due to human error, hardware failure, software failure and lost or stolen mobile devices
  • 69% of organisations exposed confidential information
  • 31% of organisations had compliance failures

3. Educate your employees

Train your employees so that data can be used securely and effectively. Providing training will have a positive impact on your bottom line. Data that is used effectively can help cut costs or can be used to bring in new revenues. It is important that employees know how, why and when to access this data so that it is being used effectively.

In 2015, data and analytics guru Bernard Marr said, “I firmly believe that big data and its implications will affect every single business—from Fortune 500 enterprises to mom and pop companies and change how we do business, inside and out.”

Managing data securely, quickly and effectively does not always mean large sums of money. Reaching out for help from the Records and Information Management experts, with many years’ experience in automating business processes, helping them to achieve operational excellence.

Large or small, organisations that are not investing in the way they manage their data and not moving into the technological future, may become an organisation of the past.

As we continually strive for operational excellence, continuous improvement is a critical component and ongoing effort to improve products, processes or services by reducing waste or increasing quality. This continuous effort drives a competitive advantage for organisations that get it right but as with many things in life, consistency is not an easy task to achieve.

Data helps you understand and improve important (internal or external) business processes, the LEAN Six Sigma technique, otherwise known as TIMWOODS is widely used across the globe to reduce time, improve inventory, reduce motion, waste, over processing/over-production defects and introducing skills. For this technique to work, the review of data is paramount making it valuable and successful.

Data and technology is almost reinventing the way we live and work, data is at our fingertips and can be accessed without hesitation and with acute accuracy unlike oil which is unpredictable and on the decline. The making of your business is now more than ever reliant on data, from tracking consumer trends to having the ability to pull company records from the Cloud in an instant. Data is your most valuable resource.

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