How to perform an audit of your data

How to perform an audit of your data 150 150 Simon Hollingworth

In a recent blog ‘Your data not big data’ we looked at the importance of ensuring you didn’t get swept away with buzz words such as ‘big data’ and ensured your focus stayed on your own data and releasing its value.

In this blog we are going to delve into the practical steps we touched on in more detail and highlight specific actions that may help resolve data challenges that currently exist.

Three key steps to undertaking a data audit

1. Where is your data?

With many organisations processes have evolved over the years, this could be the addition of new data being collected, additional users needing to store and access data or, indeed entire new databases and systems being introduced via acquisition. Whatever the circumstances organisations often find themselves with multiple data sources stored in multiple places and ways.

To be able to understand your data in the best possible way it’s important you can gain one central view of it. Consolidating multiple data sources and creating a central management reporting system is something we helped Clarks do, the result? Not only did the project result in time savings but it also provided cost savings by providing management with access to the information they need to negotiate better deals in terms of materials and production costs.

2. Who uses your data?

When you are undertaking your data audit and understanding the detail of this question don’t forget to capture how they are accessing it too. It may well be that you have people accessing the data from a central office, from home or whilst out on the road, what’s more it’s likely that it’s being accessed via a mixtre of desktop and mobile devices, this is all important information.

If you are really looking to unlock the true value of your data gaining user buy in from the start will be essential. A great user experience regardless of the device they are using and where they are accessing the system from is a great way to do this. Hear how an offline mobile app we developed for RSA has provided a real-time view of data even for Risk Managers on the move.

3. How easy is it to get to the data you need?

If you need to access, download and interpret your organisation data quickly are you able to? Does it involve clicking a ‘run report’ button or, hours of downloading and manipulating spreadsheets? If it is the later there is no question it is making informed business decisions harder and take longer than they should.

Being able to access and interpret your data is a tool that provides organisations with a competitive edge. It allows you to spot new opportunities, influence business growth, make better decisions, improve customer experience and so much more.

Knowing where to start when faced with a plethora of data can be daunting. Discover how Save the Children turned to Software Solved to help them collect and visualise data worldwide. The result? The ability to have instant access to data has helped improve treatment outcomes.

If you’re unsure where to start to unlock the potential of your organisations data, get in touch. We’d love to help.