Data due diligence has become increasingly important, especially in the light of the most recent data leaks and breaches, such as the cyber-attacks on Canva in 2019 or Marriott International in 2014-18. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of enterprise data management in 2021 and its key components.
But it’s not only because of security that enterprise data management is more than just a buzzword in 2021.
Another reason why organization leaders should put this practice at the top of their priority list refers to complying with different financial regulations, which will subsequently help them make informed and data-driven decisions.
And as you know, that’s crucial for the success of every company.
What Is Enterprise Data Management?
Enterprise data management (EDM) is the process of acquiring, processing, specifying, retrieving, and storing data for both internal processes and applications, as well as external communications.
In a nutshell, it’s the practice of inventorying, governing and managing your business data across different information systems while maintaining its accuracy and security, as well as trust in this data.
It’s worth mentioning that there are some terms used interchangeably with data management that, although similar, don’t have the same meaning.
Data quality, for example, isn’t the same as data governance. The former is used to describe the condition of data in the sense of its accuracy, reliability, consistency, completeness, and up-do-dateness. The latter is focused on monitoring and managing the usability, integrity, and security of data assets within an organization.
Given that today’s organizations collect and store massive amounts of data, it’s clear that enterprise data management plays a pivotal role in:
- Providing their teams with access to high-quality data, necessary for accurate analysis
- Ensuring data compliance and security
- Consolidating data across multiple sources, thus increasing efficiency
- Building a consistent and scalable data architecture.
What Are the Components of EDM?
The amount of data organizations manage is growing exponentially. The same applies to the variety of both structured and unstructured data.
In order for all the data to be accessible to everyone in the organization, it has to be stored in a central location, which is challenging in terms of both security and structure.
And that’s where enterprise data management comes in and makes it possible through its components.
1. Data governance
This is the main pillar of EDM, and its main role is to establish processes and policies an organization uses in managing its data, as well as to monitor how they are enforced.
There are three critical areas that data governance encompasses:
- People. In order to effectively manage your enterprise data, it’s essential to have a team trained to follow and oversee policies and processes.
- Processes. Properly outlined processes for controlling, auditing, and monitoring their data, organizations are able to ensure its accuracy, quality, and usability in any scenario.
- Technology. Using technology, the data governance team can streamline the processes, find the resources they need, allow their organizations to make accurate and informed business decisions, and ensure data compliance and security. For example, email archiving solutions are indispensable for capturing, storing, retrieving, auditing, and managing various unstructured corporate content in a compliant and secure manner.
2. Data integration
Data integration centralizes a company’s data into one location and makes it accessible to all employees regardless of where they are.
It provides a unified view of all data from different sources and improves its value over time.
3. Master data management
This component is responsible for ensuring the uniformity of master data, consolidating it across the organization, and making it actionable.
Master data management provides a single point of reference and helps organizations better use their data assets.
4. Data security
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about data security is the protection against cybercriminals. However, it’s essential for organizations to take all available measures to ensure that their data is safeguarded from corruption.
Data decay is a serious problem that can negatively impact business goals and outcomes. Given that B2B data decays at an annual rate of 22.5%, it’s obvious why having an effective data security system in place is more important than ever.
EDM Best Practices for 2021
After covering the basic principles of EDM and its importance, we can mention the best practices for 2021 that will help you implement this strategy right.
1. Start with an EDM audit
By conducting an audit, you’ll be able to see whether EDM results in increased revenue, improved operational efficiency, and better customer experiences.
This way, it will be easier to identify what works and what doesn’t and find out which areas need to be improved.
2. Set clear objectives
Once the audit is complete, you should outline the metrics for tracking progress, put together a strategic plan that will pinpoint the following:
- The aspects that should be handled first
- The timelines for EDM implementation
- The budget.
Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable.
3. Train and educate employees
No matter how well you plan your EDM initiative, it’s destined to fail unless you train your employees and get them on board.
Provide them with all the necessary resources and explain what the benefits of this strategy are both for the organization and them. Organize training sessions that will onboard and get them up to speed on their roles and responsibilities.
4. Obtain executive support
For your EDM strategy to be successfully implemented, you need to secure executive support on all levels.
The management and executives of your organization want to see whether such an investment is justified, so list all the advantages and align them with your business goals.
5. Hire an EDM specialist
Since this is going to be a complex, long-term project, it’s a good idea to have a designated EDM officer who will oversee the implementation process.
Enterprise data management keeps your organization’s data organized, protected, accessible, and usable while ensuring both internal and external compliance.