5 Tips for Spreading Data Management Best Practices Across Your Business

How Do You Get Data into Your Company DNA?

To make the most of Big Data and analytics, data management skills must permeate your business. Keep reading for tips on spreading data management best practices across all parts of your organization.

How Do You Get Data into Your Company DNA? 5 Strategies for Spreading Data Management Best Practices Throughout Your Organization

It would be nice if sound data management required nothing more than hiring great data scientists or having the right data tools.

Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that.

Sure, having data experts on your team and a great data management toolset in your organization’s portfolio of IT resources forms the foundation for leveraging value from your data. But making the very most of your data requires help from everyone in your organization. That doesn’t mean every employee needs to get a stats Ph.D. It does, however, require you to implement some organization-wide policies and cultural values in order to brick smart data practices into your entire organization.

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5 Strategies for Spreading Data Management Best Practices

What does that mean, exactly? Here are some examples of strategies for helping everyone in your organization to contribute to the mission of extracting value from data:

1. Educate employees about data quality.

Data quality may sound confusing. But it’s easy enough to explain what it means, even to people without backgrounds in data management.

Helping all your employees to understand the basics of data quality will provide them with a multidimensional view of big data. They’ll understand that data management is about more than just collecting a bunch of information and feeding it to a tool like Hadoop. When they realize why data quality is so important for making data useful, employees just might work a little harder to ensure that the data they help produce is as accurate as possible.

How Do You Get Data into Your Company DNA? 5 Strategies for Spreading Data Management Best Practices Throughout Your Organization

To spread data management best practices across your organization, you’ll need to clearly educate your employees on the value of good data quality.

2. Explain why real time matters.

Unless the work they do benefits directly from real-time results, many employees may not realize why real-time data analytics are so important.

But this concept, too, is easy enough to illustrate. Help employees understand why real-time data is so valuable for solving real-world problems that the organization faces – and, ultimately, making their jobs better and more effective.

3. Implement Centers of Data Excellence.

If one unit of your organization does a particularly good job of working with data, recognize that unit by setting it up as a Center for Data Excellence within your organization. The Center of Excellence model helps to provide a real-world reference point for employees seeking to follow the policies you set involving things like data management.

4. Transform employees into citizen data scientists.

If citizen-soldiers are people who spend their lives mainly as civilians, yet fight when they must; then citizen data scientists are employees whose jobs don’t usually involve data, but who have the basic skills and willingness required to work with data when they must.

Citizen data scientists may not be able to write a database query, but they at least know what terms like Hadoop and MySQL mean, and they have a solid understanding of the premises behind data analytics. Even if citizen data scientists can’t perform complex data tasks themselves, they have the knowledge required to support your data experts.

5. Familiarize employees with your data management tools and processes.

If you hire a contractor to build you a house, you’ll probably want to know something about how he will get the job done – how he plans to set the foundation, what kind of roof he’s going to install and so on – even if you won’t be raising a hammer yourself.

Similarly, even if most of your employees don’t work with data tools, educating them about the data tools and processes that your organization uses will help employees feel empowered and knowledgeable about your organization. And knowledge and empowerment are among the keys to employee success.

These steps can help to make data management best practices part of your organization’s DNA. They ensure that everyone on your team is ready to support your data management workflows and help do their part to derive the very most value possible out of data.

New technologies, data tools and ways of thinking are empowering the business to do more with data. Download Syncsort’s eBook to discover “The New Rules for Your Data Landscape.”

Christopher Tozzi

Authored by Christopher Tozzi

Christopher Tozzi has written about emerging technologies for a decade. His latest book, For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution, is forthcoming with MIT Press in July 2017.
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