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Uncoordinated Data | @CloudExpo #BigData #Analytics

Is uncoordinated data putting your business in hot water?

Have you ever wondered how massive corporations achieve high levels of success and seem to be perfectly organized from the inside out? That’s because they have systems and structures in place to constantly analyze performance data so they can create adjustments or solutions when part of the system fails. In other words, all their gears are going in the same direction.

If you want to play in the realm of high achievers, you need to coordinate your data from the ground up. Here are two of the biggest ways uncoordinated data could be undermining the foundation of your business and how you can prevent it:

1. Email marketing campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are one of the biggest sources of uncoordinated data. If you’re like most businesses, you’ve got multiple team members working on your campaigns. This can be extremely beneficial, yet can also be the source of your downfall, especially if you don’t have a well-documented and clearly defined strategy.

As an example, if you’re using Infusionsoft to create and deliver your email marketing campaigns, you’re working with multiple complex components inside of your strategy. Components like writing copy, formatting emails, creating tags, assigning tags, tracking clicks, merging duplicate contacts, and programming conditional actions to make it all work.

Document your strategy
According to The Essentials of a Content Marketing Strategy, companies who document their strategies see better results. This makes sense because when you document your strategy, your data is organized and accessible to all. But your marketing strategy isn’t the only thing you should be documenting. All processes should be documented and consistently used by your team.

If you have multiple people accessing and editing the same aspects of your campaign, it’s imperative that you create and document a strategy for making updates. For example, assigning one person to format the emails will ensure they’re always consistent. And assigning one person the task of programming the links, actions, and tags for each email will maintain the integrity of the whole campaign.

Coordinate copy through real time updates
If your marketing team is sharing files that are being regularly edited, they need to have a system to make sure they are always accessing the latest version. The last thing you want is for someone to send out an email with a bad link or incorrect deal. Google Docs solves this problem nicely by updating every edit in real time so all contributors see the latest version of the file.

Coordinate contact segmenting
When you have multiple people working on the same email campaign, they need to be in close communication with each other to avoid disaster. You should only allow one person to create, edit, or delete tags. Sometimes a tag already exists for a certain group of people, and is heavily integrated into the automatic actions.

If a duplicate tag is created and applied only to a small group of new contacts, they won’t be dropped into the existing email sequence that starts when the original tag is applied. And, if a tag associated with an action gets deleted, you’ll end up with a bunch of unsegmented leads with no clue where they came from.

To coordinate your segmenting efforts, it’s best to have a strategy where a single person oversees all tag creations, edits, and deletions. This doesn’t mean other people can’t get new tags created through a request, but when one person is in charge of the execution, you won’t end up with broken actions and lost leads.

2. Performance data spread out in various files
If your company’s important data – such as performance objectives, risk mitigation strategies, and asset register – are all stored in different file formats spread across your hard drive, you’re going to have a tough time coordinating that data in order to get a clear picture to assess.

The importance of organized systems and processes can’t be stressed enough. Organizational processes are what drive your business forward through all types of terrain. And reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) is one of the most important processes you could ever use.

RCM is a process that ensures your systems are functioning in order to meet your current needs. It’s a process that improves your effectiveness as a company, decreases your level of risk, and increases your cost effectiveness. This can include assessing the functionality of teams, industrial machines, and even software.

You need more than data management
Even with data management tools, you still need a method to organize it. RCM software, like Reliabuilder from PinnacleART, not only stores data but organizes it for easy analysis.

What RCM looks like
The RCM process consists of some key questions, and as outlined on Wikipedia, those questions are summarized as:

  1. What is the item supposed to do?
  2. How can the item fail to function properly?
  3. What causes each failure?
  4. What happens with each failure?
  5. How does each failure matter?
  6. What proactive tasks can be performed to prevent or diminish the consequences of a failure?
  7. What should be done if a preventive task can’t be found?

These questions combine to form reliability-centered maintenance.

Don’t wait to start coordinating your data
Unites States Army General George S. Patton said, “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” When it comes to organizing and coordinating your data, you should start creating a simple plan today. You can always adjust as you go, but don’t wait to begin. The only way to be successful is to have all of your gears going in the same direction.

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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.