Generally speaking, there are two main types of businesses: trade and service. The former, also referred to as merchandising, mainly operates by providing tangible goods to customers. In contrast, service businesses are geared more toward offering their skills and expertise to customers. Service businesses tend to process and keep more data as compared to trade businesses because the personal data of the customers are more relevant to the conduct and delivery of services. Thus, service businesses could benefit more from a more powerful, more efficient, and more extensive data management system.
An example of this would be the use of a multi-cloud strategy where a number of cloud servers are used to allocate data strategically. In this article, we will discuss a few data management strategies that you should consider when running a service business.
Data organization is concerned with how data is stored and kept. Data, along with the information they contain, must be easily accessible and identifiable. This ensures a swift and smooth flow of business operations, which is critical to the success of any business. Good data organization can be achieved through the use of tools such as databases, spreadsheet applications, and document management systems.
In application, these tools are often used interconnectedly to distinguish different types of data for different purposes. For example, a business could use a database to store the personal information of the customers while using a spreadsheet application for recording sales. By using this approach, the business prevents mix up, and confusion as regards data and information.
Data Backup and Recovery
It goes without saying that data is extremely important. That is why certain measures must be taken to ensure that data is safe and that it can be recovered in case of emergencies. Unforeseen events like hardware failures, power outages, and software bugs could lead to data corruption and/or data loss. Once data is lost, it could potentially disrupt the operations of the business. This is even more magnified if the lost data is as important as a shipment tracking number or some other important personal detail of the customer.
So as to prevent this from happening, data should be backed up and duplicated regularly. Data backups can be stored physically, such as when keeping hard drives on local servers, or digitally, such as when backing up data through online cloud servers.
Given the nature of data being processed by service businesses, it’s also crucial that it be kept secure from different kinds of threats. For example, it is a commonplace for service businesses to collect the personal and banking information of customers. In such a scenario, this data must be made inaccessible to everyone but the right set of people. To do this, businesses could use firewalls, data encryption, and other security measures to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Data Analysis and Reporting
Data is not strictly just for viewing and referencing purposes. Instead, data can be further processed to generate trends and provide insight as to how the business is performing as well as how the operations can be improved. Service businesses can use data analysis tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are often depicted in the form of sales volume, employee productivity rating, and degree of customer satisfaction. The process of data analysis and reporting should be made regularly.
In practice, this is done on a monthly or quarterly basis so as to make sure that the results generated are still relevant. By doing this process regularly, the business is able to monitor and gauge its performance of the business and continually make improvements.