Making a Data Management Plan

A photo of a computer screen showing many files

November 16, 2017 Disaster Recovery Blog, High Availability Blog Articles, Legacy System Blog Articles

Keep your data organized and under control before your disaster recovery and high availability (DR and HA) solutions even come into play. Building a data management plan won’t just give you that “just-clean” feeling of having your data in order – it’ll help with your DR and HA solutions as well.


Keep It Under Control

Data is everywhere. Only twenty years ago, ideas like online banking, virtual classrooms and remote, online jobs seemed foreign and intimidating. Today, our world is significantly virtual and is only becoming more so.

This means that data is constantly being generated and manipulated. Every user is familiar with the feeling that their computer is becoming cluttered with a disorganized bunch of documents, folders and programs (or is that just me?). Organizing your data and enacting a data management plan is just like that thorough spring-cleaning we aim to do every year. However, unlike your cluttered house, data grows at an exponential rate, and at the company level it only gets worse.

Ask yourself: will you change where you store your data anytime soon? How much annual data growth can you anticipate? If you don’t get a handle on your data now, it could spiral out of control and become a serious headache for you in the future. Avoid doing damage control with costly cleanup experts, and be proactive about your data management now.


3 Steps To Improve Your Data Management Today

1. Automate Your Query Process

With all of the data that today’s companies are dealing with, getting insight from messy data is only becoming more complicated. Unfortunately, that won’t hold up when your CEO wants all of the sales data from the last quarter, your sales department needs info on your region’s sales performance, and your finance department is looking for data on the revenue earned from those sales. In fact, these three requests are slight variations of the same search. However, if you’re attempting to manually query this data, that means you’ll be searching for slightly different versions of the same data three different times.

Writing SQL queries becomes time-consuming, and running a query in Query/400 means running queries one-by-one. Consider using automation and machine learning techniques to accelerate the time your company takes to gain insight from large datasets. Machine learning will help you to group and handle your data in useful ways, while automation will make it so you can query the desired data once and use it for each request. This will save you time and money now, and prevent future expenses by getting an effective technique down as your data continues to grow.


2. Be Selective About Your Query and Reporting Tools

As data stores are growing it’s only becoming harder to determine what data is relevant and what’s noise. Between the data in core business applications and various databases, how do you sort through everything and find what’s relevant to you? Going back to our previous example, imagine that your CEO, sales and finance departments need data retrieved. This could mean retrieving data from a customer relationship management (CRM) application on your IBM i systems, from an accounting system, or even a holistic view of data across all of your applications, systems and databases. You need an effective method for retrieving relevant data from different sources, and getting the right conclusions to the right people.

Using the right query and reporting tools can make all the difference in the world. Be selective when choosing, and make sure that these tools can satisfy your company’s needs in the future.


3. Turn Data Into At-a-Glance Information

This is where having the right reporting and analytics tools makes all the difference.

Nowadays you can’t just retrieve data – you need to turn data into a user-friendly form that anyone at your company can understand and, more importantly, use. This could be graphs, spreadsheets, charts, or a comprehensive report.

Meeting all of these goals would be beyond challenging if you’re trying to do it manually. Business intelligence dashboards will make a world of difference when it comes to transforming your data into information. Whether your sales department needs charts and graphs, your finance department wants an Excel spreadsheet, or your CEO wants a report, let technology do the heavy lifting for you. Export your data into easily-digestible forms, like graphs and spreadsheets. This will shorten the time-to-insight for company employees, and make it easier to take data from different sources and apply it in one department or scenario.


For more information on how to manage your data and improve your high availability and disaster recovery solutions, contact us today at 317-707-3941.


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