The term "Data Management" is used in a number of different ways, depending on the industry being referenced. However, a good working definition, although rather broad, would be "The development and use of structures, policies and procedures required to efficiently and effectively manage business-based information through its entire life-cycle." There are five basic guidelines your business can follow in order to better manage your critical data.
In this digital age, the importance of migrating away from paper-based data can hardly be exaggerated. Electronic data is more easily retrieved when needed, easier to store, easier to secure, and easier to destroy at the end of its useful life. If you don't have the technology to convert your data to digital form, there are numerous companies who can be contracted to accomplish this.
Structure Your Data:
Getting your valuable data into an architecture that can be readily integrated into a database will make the control and retrieval of that data much more efficient. Once again, if your organization doesn't have the technical expertise needed to accomplish this, it can easily be outsourced to a company that does.
Secure Your Data:
By restricting access to data you reduce the chance that it can be tampered with, altered, corrupted, or accidentally destroyed. You can control which employees have access to specific types or classes of data, based on the organizational structure you use.
Backup and Store Data Regularly:
Live data that is constantly being accessed and updated can be stored on a data server where it is readily available to anyone who is authorized. Archived data, which is static and cannot be altered can be placed on storage media such as CD's and transported to a secure offsite location. All data should be backed up regularly and stored offsite as part of a disaster recovery plan.
Destroy Old Data:
Once data has reached the end of its life cycle it needs to be destroyed. No matter what form the data may take, from server backup discs to computer hard drives, even flash drives and retired cell phones which may hold valuable data, it will all need to be destroyed. Professional services are available for this task and they will follow all industry best practices and document what they destroy.
Data management can encompass quite a lot and it requires a significant number of man-hours to do properly. If your organization can't dedicate those resources, data management groups like Hivelocity can step in.