Data fragmentation is increasingly becoming the norm for businesses. Now that we are all online and many of us use cloud software to help us in our daily lives, our business data is spread out all over the place. This might not immediately seem like a problem for your business but it certainly could develop into one over the coming years.
Here are five reasons why data fragmentation is a problem:
Double entry of data
If you have to spend time updating multiple databases with information about your customers or the products that you have in stock, this is a complete waste of valuable time for small businesses.
Many types of software have no integration at all so they require each database to be maintained manually. This can take hours away from your working week and also it is very easy to make mistakes when managing multiple sets of data. It’s a highly inefficient way of working, but many of us do it without even thinking.
Lack of control
By splitting up your business data or by maintaining multiple sets of the same information in the cloud, you are trusting multiple companies to take care of your data. The reality is that you never really know how many of them will be around in a year or five years down the line.
The bigger that your database gets over time, the harder it will be to transfer your information out when the time comes – and that’s presuming they will even allow you to.
There are obvious security issues with fragmented data. Even if your provider has rigorous procedures in place to safeguard against problems occurring, you still have to make sure that you remember all of the login information and passwords for multiple websites.
If different members of your organisation require access to some of the data you’ll also have to keep track of who has access to what.
It’s tempting to sign up to a lot of cloud software services when you first start out in business, but once the monthly bills start coming in you might regret it. If you sign up to any free trials that you don’t intend to keep, make sure that you cancel before the date of your first bill because they will keep charging your card even if you completely forget about it!
The decision making process is made much more difficult if data is scattered all over the place. Strategic decisions require you to have all of the information you need to hand so that you have a complete picture.
When your information is stored in numerous places it is easy to forget about some of it and not factor it into your decisions. If you care about accuracy, it’s best to avoid data fragmentation at all cost.