Data is king in the world of contemporary business. Operators that are able to accurately collate and analyse data from trading partners, customers, and local areas can leverage that information to elevate performance. It’s not simply a matter of gathering numbers though – it’s how you use them. Are they organised and up-to-date? What data management systems are in place? Your decision-making depends on accurate information. Further, if you’re not diligent, bad data maintenance may end up representing a security risk to both you and your customers.
The importance of data management
There are two reasons why you must ensure that your data management process is watertight, in terms of both customers and partner businesses/suppliers. It is absolutely non-negotiable.
The first is that your business simply cannot perform at its optimum if the data used is inaccurate, incomplete or invalid. Clean data is the foundation for decision-making within any business – affecting financial modelling, communication with customers, and so much more. When properly maintained, it empowers all personnel, across all departments, to make the most informed choices. This encompasses accounts, sales, management, directors, marketing, administration, and more. Unfortunately, the issue is that so many businesses fail to adequately manage this information.
Data mismanagement is often the result of a number of common factors. In many instances, employees simply don’t respect the growth potential that clean data provides a business. This is despite effectively all of the market-leading multinational businesses prioritising data like never before. In lazy operations, data is often found to be out-of-date, duplicated, or just plain wrong. There has to be a margin for human error if data is logged manually, however that doesn’t justify the bulk of dirty data often observed. It’s poor structure, business practice, and general complacency.
While you might be practising poor data hygiene, you can be sure that the high-performance competitors within your industry will be actively managing theirs. It gives so much scope to make informed decisions: who is buying the product, from where and why? What are the commonalities by either region or demographics? They will be far better placed to accurately pinpoint which markets are worth exploring further, and how to effectively market to a changing customer base.
The second reason data management, and protection, must be a priority is because the information can be very sensitive to the customer or business it concerns. There have been a number of instances where a business was infiltrated and had its data leaked or stolen, particularly due to the shift towards remote work environments. This represents a huge breach of privacy, and has led to serious threats to peoples financial and personal health. If you’re going to collect data within a business, it must be collected in the right way in order to respect the security and privacy rights of all involved.
Improve data management with a Portfolio Health Check
You could try and dedicate yourself, or your team, to the inefficient exercise of manually reviewing data in-house, but it’s costly and unnecessary. Instead, the Portfolio Health Check, by CreditorWatch, provides the comprehensive review of your database required to level up your data management practices. Extensive and insightful, it provides a number of essential benefits through a four-stage analysis of both supplier and customer databases – data matching, validation, reconstruction, standardisation. To further empower your business, it leverages the extensive data sources exclusive to CreditorWatch – allowing for the identification of risky trading partners.
The full database is gathered, so as to be cleaned and reorganised into a lean, clean and easily observable stockpile of valuable customer and trading partner information. As it’s collected, the Portfolio Health Check analyses any data clusters or segments,with duplicates or misfilled entries identified, then merged or deleted as necessary. Then commences the data matching process, in conjunction with vital financial information from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Australian Business Registry (ABR), Australian Financial Securities Authority (AFSA), courts, and mercantile agents.
Each data entry is validated according to both these public records, and extensive CreditorWatch business data. Not only does this serve to accurately identify each entry, and ensure that the details therein are up-to-date, it also flags entities with adverse data. With an accompanying breakdown of each risk factor, and potential next steps, this analysis may assist in mitigating trade with uncreditworthy, or untrustworthy, partners or customers. This is a huge value-add to the already extensive benefits of a database clean-up and analysis.
Once every entry is validated and accurate, the database can then be reconstructed and standardised into a format that supports the optimal upkeep and expansion of the information. Easily decipherable, with standard formatting across all entries, the insights provided will empower your decisions for years to come. Additionally, there may be steps identified through the analysis process to ensure the security of any sensitive data is top-notch. When your information is both accurate and secure, your business has every opportunity to thrive.
For more information on how a Portfolio Health Check might transform your decision-making, speak to our team at CreditorWatch today.
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