Why Data Integrity Is Crucial for Your Business

Business.com / Security / Last Modified: September 26, 2017
Photo credit: Stuart Miles/Shutterstock

If your business relies on data or stores data, then you have a responsibility to ensure data integrity. Here is why it's so crucial for your business and how you can attain it.

We are all bombarded by data on a daily basis – it's just a reality of living in today's world, but there is no place where data is more crucial than in business. You may wonder why anyone should care about data.

When running and operating an effective business, data is an essential piece of the success formula. If you truly want to see your company thrive, you must appreciate data.

Data 101

So what exactly is data? Depending on whom you ask, you may get a lot of different answers. Some common meanings are:

  • Information gathered for referrals or analysis
  • Things referred to as realities that provide the foundation of the thinking and decision-making process

For instance, in your organization, business data can be the number of products sold in the north area in the first business quarter. There is one appropriate number that fits these requirements and is the "reality" within the meaning of the data. This truth can be referenced for analysis and can be the basis for making a business choice.

Why is data (and its integrity) so important?

The quality and reliability of data are described as data integrity. It is preserving and ensuring the precision and consistency of data over its life cycle. When you can trust the information at hand, business owners and executives can make suitable choices, which contributes to the overall success of the business.

In fact, everyday decisions are made using real-time data. It not only allows you to have a "pulse" on your business's efficiency in the marketplace but also on your competition. So having precise, reputable data available to examine when making crucial, short or long-term business choices is an important tool.

How to ensure data integrity

Now that you understand why data integrity is so valuable for companies, it's time to learn how to achieve it. Let's begin by saying that the majority of big companies gather data through numerous approaches, such as the following:

  • The website of the company
  • Back-end databases
  • Client relationship management (CRM) systems
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems

Plenty of companies use a combination of these data-collection methods. But what can you do to ensure data integrity? Listed below are some ideas for attaining and preserving great data quality for your business:

  • Idea No. 1: Management. It begins with the top down. Half the fight is won by just making sure your business's management understands the significant role data integrity plays in your daily operations. Once you achieve that, tactical business objectives and budget plans are usually crafted with arrangements promoting the execution of an effective data approach that suits your business the best.

  •  Idea No. 2: Governance. In order to secure the quality and reliability of data that passes through a lot of hands, you must assign clear functions and duties to make sure everyone takes responsibility in maintaining data integrity. 
  • Idea No. 3: Systems, Processes and Screening. As stated before, front-end and back-end systems are mainly responsible for data collection. But on top of that, there needs to be a process in place to establish how data is being entered into these systems. Most companies use workflow diagrams that show data input and output and all of the changes it suffers in between. 
  • Idea No. 4: Policies. Many companies are now establishing and executing policies demanding the regular examination of data. One common practice is to create data integrity reports that focus on data disparities in systems and processes. Such reports are a great way to rapidly deal with emerging data issues before they become larger and messier.

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