Consumer data is a helpful tool for planning advertising campaigns, creating marketing strategies and developing new products. However, many companies take it too far by becoming data hoarders. These companies try to store and analyze every piece of data produced or accessed, which leads to an overuse of resources and a lot of wasted time. In fact, companies that store too much data often become so overwhelmed that they lose sight of their goals. Instead of hoarding all data collected, companies need to learn to sift through the data they encounter, store what is important and use the information gained to their benefit.
Analyzing your data storage procedures
If your company is already storing data, begin improving your procedures by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do I know what data I have stored? If the answer to this question is no, you aren’t using your data as well as you could be. It’s impossible to organize and analyze data without first understanding what it is and where it came from. Search through the data you have and categorize it.
- Why do we need this data? For each category of data you collect, ask yourself whether you actually need it. Will it help you accomplish any of your business’s goals? If not, delete it and free up the space for something more important.
- What problem am I trying to solve? The purpose of this question is to determine your ultimate goals regarding data storage and analysis. Once you know what you are working toward, you can perform more effective data analyses. Massive amounts of information won’t benefit you at all if you don’t know your goals.
- Am I using all of my data storage capacity? This question is especially important if you store your data in-house. In-house storage systems contain a finite amount of space. If you are already using all of your space, you may need to downsize your data or purchase more storage. Conversely, if you are utilizing cloud storage, you don’t need to worry as much about how much space you use. Most cloud storage providers offer scalable services that allow you to alter the amount of storage space you own based on your needs at the time.
Taking control of your data
After you know where you stand, it’s time to get your data under control. Clean out the data you don’t need and organize the rest in a way that makes sense. If you find this task overwhelming, hire a data consultant to perform an audit on your company’s databases. A consultant will be able to help you improve your analysis methods and put your data to more effective use. Finally, make changes to your storage solutions if necessary. Unused space can cost you a lot of extra money, so consider investing in a scalable data storage solution.
Big data can be a wonderful tool, but it can also hinder your business’s progress if you don’t use it correctly. Not every piece of data is worth saving. Take the time to figure out what will help you the most, organize it, analyze it and watch your business grow.