Is Your Data an Asset or a Liability?

We frequently talk with clients about the benefits of better managing data with the latest technology. But even if an organization has embraced technology, there still needs to be a strategy for managing a company’s data. Without a strategy, the data you assume is helpful for your business might be susceptible to cause harm. Consider these points and then ask yourself is your data is an asset or a liability.

Who’s in charge anyway?

If data doesn’t have a designated owner, nobody is accountable for managing that information. There must be clear lines of responsibility for information management. Without data ownership, data can easily become more of a liability than an asset.

Make a list and check it twice.

Is there knowledge around the data your have available? Have you properly documented where the information originated? Is the information in storage accurate? When was the last time the data was modified? If the answer to any of these questions is “I don’t know,” then your data may be a liability.

Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

Is there an understanding of the use and value of the data you have in your system? Collecting and storing data for the sake of collecting and storing data is pointless. There has to be a plan for how to use or apply your data. Plus, keeping data for unknown reasons has a financial cost – it cost money to store this information and it costs even more money to have an employee or consultant figure out what you have and if its useful. Unnecessary, avoidable expenses are liabilities.

Data work makes the dream work.

Do you have resources available in terms of people and processes to manage your data? If you don’t have a mechanism to manage and analyze your data, you could be using outdated or possibly incorrect information. Businesses must invest in proper data architecture and analysts to translate data into useful information that drives revenue and growth.

In case of emergency…

Is there redundancy of your data? You can have good data that’s up to date and a plan for how and why to use it, but if the unexpected happens and you lose your data there is little you can do. If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan, the money you’ve sunk into data quickly changes from an asset to a liability.

Next week on ‘Hoarders’…

Is your process of capturing data a reactionary strategy? Too many business hoard data thinking they might use it some day, just like 99% of the items in your junk draw at home. Ask yourself what you want your end result to be and take the appropriate actions.

Managing information is at the core of any business or organization. It can drive business structure and growth, ongoing organizational success, and key businesses. We encourage you to take our Technology Strength Assessment to see if you information management strategies fit into the asset column or if they are on the wrong side of the ledger.