data science

14 proven data management best practices

Data management is a critical part of any organization's overall business strategy, ensuring companies can properly, compliantly, and effectively leverage data to make decisions and drive actions.  Data management involves activities such as collecting, consolidating, cleansing, validating, auditing, and archiving data. It also includes methods for protecting the security and integrity of data, as well as processes to ensure that data is up-to-date, properly organized, and easily accessible. 

Proper data management allows organizations to improve their decision-making, increase efficiency, and reduce costs by ensuring quality information is available at all times. But with so many different options and approaches, it can be tough to know where to start. 

Here are 14 proven data management best practices to help get you started. Implementing even a few of these can make a big difference in terms of improving efficiency and giving you a competitive edge. 

1. Establish a single source of truth 

All data should be stored in one centralized system that is accessible to everyone in the organization. This ensures consistency and accuracy across all operations. 

2. Properly tag and store data

Data should be clearly labeled for easy retrieval, and ideally stored in an organized database or cloud data warehouse.

3. Utilize data lineage

Track each piece of data’s origin and its transformations as it makes its way through the organization, helping to ensure accuracy. This is particularly important for analytics engineers, who leverage software best practices to create more agility in their organizations

Get the guide to see how ThoughtSpot and dbt make it simple to trace data lineage while launching self-service analytics.

4. Make security a priority

Protect important information with strong authentication measures such as two-factor authentication and encryption technologies. 

5. Define data access policies

Establish clear guidelines for who can access what types of data and when they can access it to ensure compliance with privacy laws. This includes being able to govern access for every single user, down to the row and cell level. 

6. Leverage automation technologies

Automate processes such as backups, archiving, and workflow execution to help increase efficiency and accuracy across the organization.

7. Monitor user activity

Track how users interact with your systems in order to identify any potential issues or suspicious behavior. 

8. Keep data clean

Regularly audit data for accuracy, completeness, and consistency with data observability tools such as Monte Carlo. Delete any unnecessary or outdated data to minimize waste and improve performance. 

9. Confidently launch self-service analytics

With the right data governance, organizations can launch self-service analytics tools to their entire organization. Insights are trustworthy and reliable, while data teams can ensure only the right individuals have access to the right data. 

Take a look at the example below that demonstrates how sales professionals can leverage self-service analytics tools like ThoughtSpot to enhance their decision-making process.




10. Continually review processes

Regularly assess your data management policies and procedures to make sure they are meeting current needs. Be sure to adjust any necessary changes as the organization evolves over time. 

11. Employ a data governance strategy

Establish a point person or data governance team to oversee data operations and ensure compliance with regulations. 

12. Foster collaboration

With so many different teams and departments leveraging data, it’s critical you establish communication channels, whether live, virtual, or asynchronously, ensure that all teams are on the same page when it comes to data management

13. Choose user-friendly tools

Pair data management initiatives with the right analytics tools that enable users across the organization – regardless of technical aptitude – to easily access, update, and analyze data. This means giving users the ability to get started immediately, instead of having to go through multiple weeks of training.

14. Stay up to date on trends

Make sure to keep up with current technologies and data trends to make sure you’re always on top of emerging opportunities. 

Start gaining an edge on competition

All businesses can benefit from data management practices and processes. By taking the time to develop and deploy the right ones for your company, you’ll ensure that your data is always reliable, accessible, and up to date. And that will give you a critical data-driven edge in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.

To make this data valuable, however, it needs to be in the hands of business users who can use it to make decisions and take action. With self-service business intelligence from ThoughtSpot, everyone in your organization can experience data insights firsthand, without requiring data and IT teams. Start a free 14-day trial of ThoughtSpot to see for yourself!