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Developing Effective Data Use Strategies

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As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, the manner in which businesses are able to use data as a part of their business expansion process in becoming increasingly complex. What this means for businesses is that data is more accessible and there are more ways that data can be used to enhance the performance of the business in multitudinous ways. However, as much as data benefits business in the information age, it also presents some rather unique challenges that must be effectively engaged, or the consequences can be exceptionally costly.

Customer & Business Intelligence

Data mining has become a huge part of business development, as businesses are able to use data for a number of different reasons. One way that businesses are using data is to compile customer and business intelligence (which pretty much led to current rise of Internet of Things). Customer intelligence data provides companies with immensely valuable information that can inform them of what drives their customer base, allowing them to take strategic action to increase their market share.

When data is collected, it can also be used to develop insight on how businesses are conducting business, providing a much needed competitive edge.

Real-Time Monitoring

Another benefit that is associated with the collection of data is the development of the capacity to facilitate real time monitoring. Additionally, this data will also facilitate the ability to make projections and forecasts of events that will impact business performance or operational productivity.

The Dangers of Data Loss

One of the enigmatic issues that businesses have to be prepared to confront is the potential for data loss. With the magnitude at which data is compiled, stored and retrieved for multitudinous purposes, the loss of data can prove catastrophic. In addition to data loss, is the ever-pending data breach. In recent months, especially over the past year, there have been some pretty notable data breaches in which external forces were able to access customer and employee information from some rather high profile companies. This type of data breach can damage a business in a number of different ways.

First of all, the federal government has made it clear that it places a great deal of emphasis on a company’s ability to protect the privacy of its customers and its employees, so when a company suffers a data breach, it is very likely that they could be fined for failure to meet compliance requirements, as far as the manner in which they store their data. Additionally, suffering a data breach can also negatively impact the trust that the customer has in the company.

Data Security and Protection

These concerns that hover around the potential for data loss or a data breach bring into sharp focus the need for data protection and data security solutions for businesses. With the massive value that is currently placed on data, the loss of data has the potential to cost companies millions or even billions of dollars in a relatively short period of time.

Maybe even more important than the loss of revenue is the loss of customer trust and customer loyalty. A data breach or even IT downtime that is associated with some sort of data issues can cause significant harm to a company’s reputation, and a damaged reputation can be extremely difficult to repair. The cost of data loss will vary depending on the specific industry; however, when it happens it will only bring trouble and it’s best to avoid it if at all possible.

The Causes of Data Loss

There can be multitudinous causes of data loss, but there are some causes that are more common than others. One of the most common causes of data loss is the malfunction of the operating system or the hardware. Recent research reveals that more than half of the instances of data loss are the result of some type of issues with hardware. This could be something as simple as electrical failure, or some as complicated as a circuitry malfunction. Either way, it can cause major issues. It is important that all hardware issues are addressed in a timely fashion, because failure to address these issues will almost certainly lead to data loss.

A recent article by Known Digital revealed that human error is the second most common cause of data loss — second only to hardware malfunction. With such a large percentage of a company’s labor force having access to their network, it can be easy for someone to make a costly mistake that results in data loss.

The Right Solution

Fortunately, there are a number of service providers, that are providing virtual and cloud computing solutions that are designed to help businesses meet the challenges of big data. These companies provide services such as off-site storage on virtual and dedicated servers. More importantly, they also offer data recovery services that may be vital to reducing revenue loss and protecting company and customer relations.

Although technology is evolving at a rapid pace, computing service providers are proving that they are up to the task of providing effective data storage, protection and recovery solutions.

About the Author

Philip Piletic – Marketing and e-commerce specialist with several years of experience in the field. In his spare time he loves to write about the latest trends in technology, economy and finance and help people adapt to the fast evolving world of today’s online business.

Photo credit: Open Data Institute Knowledge for Everyone

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