Deep dive into data’s importance

A holistic data management approach is crucial for companies to effectively harness the power of data-driven decisions.
Minette Lubbe
By Minette Lubbe, Data engineer, PBT Group.
Johannesburg, 08 Nov 2023
Minette Lubbe, data engineer at PBT Group.
Minette Lubbe, data engineer at PBT Group.

With a keen passion for data, and in particular, data management, a few months ago I shared part one of my views related to the topic of “the value of a holistic data management approach for a modern, digitally-driven business”.

The first article set the scene around how most organisations currently manage their data and what a holistic data management approach is. Within the article, I started to discuss the reasons for a holistic approach, elaborating on data-driven decision-making, improved efficiency and productivity, enhanced customer understanding and a competitive advantage.

In this follow-up article, I address the remaining five reasons why organisations should be using a holistic data management approach and what organisations should be aware of when deciding to move to such an approach.

Holistic data management is the only route for an organisation to gain stakeholder trust and transparency.

Listed below is a recap of all nine reasons around why a holistic data management approach makes sense, with my views shared on the last five.

  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Enhanced customer understanding
  • Competitive advantage
  • Compliance and risk mitigation
  • Cost optimisation
  • Agility and innovation
  • Stakeholder trust and transparency
  • Working remotely

Picking up where I had left off…

Compliance and risk mitigation:

Data governance and security are critical aspects of holistic data management. Adhering to data privacy regulations, protecting sensitive information, and ensuring data accuracy and reliability help organisations mitigate legal and reputational risks.

Compliance with regulations such as the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 is essential for maintaining customer trust and avoiding fines in South Africa.

If an organisation does not have a holistic view of its personal data, it will become a daunting task to identify where this data is residing, and the organisation will not be able to control for what purpose this data is being used.

Identifying this data centrally is imperative to ensure compliance, as well as ensuring strict security for peace of mind for the organisation’s customers and to reduce its risk.

Cost optimisation:

Cost deduction is always one of the most critical objectives within any organisation’s projects. By keeping the cost low, the organisation can ensure project feasibility, as well as guaranteed success and sustainability. Holistic data management helps organisations optimise costs associated with data storage, processing of data and maintaining data.

By effectively managing the data lifecycle, organisations can identify and eliminate redundant or obsolete data, reduce storage requirements, and optimise infrastructure utilisation. By eliminating redundant data, the organisation also speeds up query result time and ensures the accuracy of its data. Additionally, streamlined data processes reduce time spent on data-related tasks, resulting in cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

Agility and innovation:

Holistic data management enables organisations to adapt quickly to changing business needs and market trends. By having a unified and integrated view of data, companies can respond swiftly to new opportunities, innovate faster, and introduce new products and services more efficiently. It fosters a data-driven culture that encourages experimentation, learning and continuous improvement.

Stakeholder trust and transparency:

Customers, partners and stakeholders increasingly expect organisations to handle data responsibly and transparently. Holistic data management demonstrates a commitment to data privacy, security and ethical data practices.

This builds trust among stakeholders, enhancing the company's reputation and maintaining strong relationships with customers, partners and regulators. Holistic data management is the only route for an organisation to gain stakeholder trust and transparency.

Working remotely:

There is a shift where more and more people are working either hybrid or completely remote. With the commute time that is saved and with fewer distractions, it leads to more productivity.

However, for this model to work to its fullest potential, accessing data from a central point of view and knowing that it is accurate and timely, as well as secure, is of absolute importance. Thus, data should be prohibited from being stored on a personal laptop and should only be accessed and worked on centrally.

By doing this and working with the data from a holistic view, the customer as well as the employee can ensure the data is accurate and authenticated.

I speak from experience as I have been working remotely for almost 15 years and validate the benefits of working remotely.

When an organisation takes on a holistic data management approach and practices, the organisation would be mobilised and enhance its analytics capabilities in several ways.

One thing to keep in mind is that implementing a holistic data management approach is an iterative process and not a once-off set of rules and processes. It requires ongoing monitoring, evaluation and refinement to ensure the approach that is going to be used aligns with evolving business needs and industry best practices, and then ultimately, needs to be adjusted accordingly.

In summary, a holistic data management approach is crucial for organisations to effectively harness the power of data.

It enables data-driven decision-making, improves efficiency, enhances customer understanding, provides a competitive advantage, ensures compliance, optimises costs, promotes agility and innovation, fosters stakeholder trust, and most of all takes individuals into the future of working remotely.

These benefits collectively contribute to the long-term success and growth of the company in a data-centric world.