Getting Collaboration Right with Data Management Systems

There comes a time in a company when data becomes too big for any single person. This is probably the point when a small company moves out of the first office and into larger spaces. It would also be the point when management starts thinking in terms of enterprise level solutions for everything such as data management solutions.dms2

Why you need one

Consolidating data is not that easy. In the first place, raw data is just a big bunch of numbers and without proper training, or if decision-makers do not know what to look at, they would get lost in all of the numbers. Additionally, raw data is not information. It has to be massaged and analyzed before it yields information. Only after information has been presented in its proper context does it become useful knowledge. Individual snippets of information constitute interesting factoids. When running a company, the fact that something was bought at a given price on a certain day does not mean anything unless placed in the proper context and viewed in a bigger perspective.

For any company, small to enterprise level, there are now online collaboration tools available on the web. For more secure data, there are small, medium and enterprise-level solutions that put these data management tools on a local cloud server.

Since the late-1980s, data management solutions have been marketed in increasing numbers, with different perspectives and in increasing complexity. The best and most successful of these have proven to be simple and intuitive to use. Those that have been chockfull of features and benefits and ahead of their time have sadly been relegated to the side of the road to progress. In most cases, these were too kludgy for the machine of their day. Nowadays, their footnote serves to remind software vendors to keep everything as simple as possible.

Besides collaboration on everything from documents, presentation slides, and spreadsheets, online data management have also included flowcharts, automated notifications, online vetting and approvals, and an online calendar. For those groups that need to meet regularly, or for project-management teams, their activities have revolved around the calendar. In a way, project management tools have been calendar-based, and bringing calendars and project management tools online has been a big feature in some of the more successful collaboration tools.

It is easy to get caught up in data management solutions tool, instead of the features. The 80/20 rule still holds true when it comes to tool benefits and usage, where 80% of the work is done by 20% of the tool feature set. Making the most of the largely used 20% feature set can be the key to a successful implementation of an online data management system.

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