A guide to efficient data management

The guide to efficient management of data illustrates the act of knowing why a bit of data exist, who exactly it is valuable to, for how long the data should be kept and when and how it should be discarded of.  This will entail doing information audits periodically and having users of information specify what data they will need and why they will need it. Departments then need to come together and decide on how to manage policy and data and not just decipher the cost of the disk space as not all data is relevant to everyday business activity.

What Do You Need?

The first step in managing data effectively is to decide what bits of information one will need at a fingertip.  One can start by writing down the most crucial activities of each day. For example, for a business owner it would be employee arrival time, staff rosters, daily cash opening balance, inventory levels and so on. From this, they can plan what information they will need in order to make informed decisions. Some businesses can also benefit from having an Integrated Workplace Management System.

How relevant is this data?

In the 21st century, we are bombarded with numerous bits of information, but our brains can only process a given amount. It is therefore imperative that we decide on what information we will always need at our fingertips.

Where is This Information?

Traditional methods of record keeping dictated that information be kept in large filing cabinets. However, with the onset of the global technological age – information is now being stored on more portable and less bulky devices like computer hard drives.  This data needs to be stored at a place that it would available when it is needed. Blackberry smart phones store contact information of persons so they are available through various mediums conveniently. Thumb drives, CD-ROMS and large hard drives have proven to be valuable places for storing data for easy retrieval and manipulation.

Who has Access to it?

The onset of the technological age has also brought with it certain hazards. With the threat of hacking, software piracy and other computer crimes, it has become important that access to information be restricted to only persons who need the information in order to perform daily functions. Passwords and such simple methods have proven to be quite effective in keeping out unwanted users from information systems or their property management software. There are useful programs available that limit the access persons have to certain bits of information.

Evaluate Cost

A database software would come in handy here. Many persons will however ask a few questions like “what is a database?” and “is there any free database software?” A simple guide to efficient management of data will dictate that data management is not expensive using a database. Simple Microsoft Office programs like Microsoft Access can be useful. Microsoft Excel allow users to manipulate data and users can restrict access to the work book to prevent unauthorized users. Adobe writer offers a unique way or authenticating documents and prevent changes to be made on them. So a simple way to prevent documents being tampered with in soft copy is to get them in Adobe PDF format.

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