Data is important in business. It determines they success, or failure of a company. It is perhaps the one element, the bane resource on which other factors of production leverage on. It drives a business. If you are an important part of a successful company or just thinking of starting one, you likely know this and care about data.
What Exactly Is Data?
Depending on whom you ask, you would get different answers. In business, data is a collection of facts and statistics for the purpose of analysis, calculation, reference and decision-making. “The number of company clients from the northwest territory in the previous business year” is an example of business data. This is a statistic that a company can leverage on in making analysis and can form the basis for business decision.
What is Data Security?
In simple terms, data integrity is the maintenance of data quality. It is the maintaining of the consistency, value, reliability and accuracy of data throughout its lifecycle.
Why is Data Integrity Important?
As mentioned earlier, data forms the basis of decision making in any organisation. Successful companies are those who make sound decisions. Sound decisions are made based on sound, accurate, reliable and valuable data. Sound decision results in business growth. Compromised data invariably means poor decision-making and could spell disaster for a company.
Small business intending to continue thriving and expanding must take data integrity seriously. Their right leveraging on their secured data will grow their business. It is not just enough to get accurate reliable data, they have to ensure that the data continues to be valuable to them and serve its purpose. Data integrity- ensuring that data continues to be secure, accurate and valuable – involves creating a contingency plan for a situation when the data is compromised. How can they do this? Data integrity Insurance.
Insuring the Data Integrity of Small Business
For most system, there is a database. This can be of different format depending on the business structure. This database holds the whole data and is the reference point from which businesses take decisions. However, what happens when this database, for some inexplicable reason, is compromised? That is surely disastrous, unless you have insured your data.
Chances are that you gather data daily manually through your website, your brand mobile app or through third party data gathering agencies. To ensure that your data integrity is up-to-date, it needs to be insured regularly, ideally in real time.
There are basically two ways this can be done. One way is by having a backup database – a sort of drive that stores the data. This backup can be further protected by having a different person, from the one handling the working database, have access to and handle it. The business owner of may decide to handle this himself. While this is cheap and easy, the problem of virus attack, the system crashing or being damaged by fire or flood still remains.
Another way is by having your data stored or backed up in the cloud. This way, your data gets stored in real time, is protected against accidents and more secured. While this may require a few technological skills and a bit more expensive, it is totally worth it.
Of course, there is no 100% way to prevent loss, so it is advisable to have an insurance for your data integrity. There are numerous digital insurance asset policies that can be acquired that can cover you in the event of a breach on your data integrity. This way, in the unlikely situation where you lose both your main database and the backup(s), you are compensated. Therefore, it is not a total loss.
Insuring data integrity of your business is not just a spontaneous act, it is a process that has to be planned and executed.
The importance of data and its integrity should be clearly understood. This way a plan, stating roles and responsibilities is developed for an appropriate data and data integrity protection system. The system developed should clearly show who, when, how, and where data is entered into systems. Ultimately, people are the champions for good data quality, therefore, it is only wise to assign qualified and trusted personnel with the right skills to carry out tasks.
Having accurate and reliable data makes jobs easier and improves efficiency and results in improved business performance.