How to Organize an Enterprise Data System

Getting your data storage system installed and ready to use is only half the battle in the world of data management. According to technology expert Cliff Longman, it is essential that you look deeply into your business problems and seek to develop processes that will best serve your present and future.

The following are steps you can take to assure that you successfully manage your data:

• Set clear objectives. The more you understand what your data storage infrastructure was developed for in the first place, the better you can manage your data. Ask yourself questions like: How is the data we are storing going to benefit the organization? What data is the most important? How will we start the data storage process?

• Develop a business case. Gain an understanding of how your organization will benefit from the system and define its value in terms of operational efficiency, higher levels of business intelligence, and regulatory compliance. This will allow for a better understanding as to the value of the data being stored and the reasons behind developing the system in the first place. Also, it is valuable to understand the consequences of poor or lost data on the bottom line and service quality.

• Establish a governance process and rules. Prior to jumping into the data storage process, it is important to establish rules for maintaining data quality, efficiency, and consistency. There should never be a question as to who is responsible for making sure that data is being stored in the very best manner possible. Additionally, rules should be given to organizational member to assure they are benefiting the process.

• Inventory all data. Before adding massive amounts of data to your infrastructure, it is an excellent idea to conduct a full data inventory. This means not only discovering what types of data you own, it also means fully understanding how data is currently created, modified, and stored. The process will help you analyze what is currently working and what needs to change.

• Know who your business champions are. Identify key individuals throughout the organization across all departments who can help better the data storage process and define the steps that need to be taken to meet real-world needs. IT must have partners to make a true and lasting impact.

• Educate the organization. It is essential that you educate the organization on the importance of the data storage system and develop proper training. It is also a great idea to set up a knowledge base or forum that answers specific questions that may arise over time.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all organizations, but it is important that you consider the big picture at all times.

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