It’s important to save historical data generated by your business, but as the amount of stored information accumulates, you may find it becoming difficult to manage and access the right information at the right time. The unending flow of seemingly useful information can also increase the expense of data storage for your small business. It’s a good idea to consider the potential savings of time and money when your organization limits data storage to information that suits your business model. The following ways to avoid data overload can help enrich your business by giving you easier access to only the data you need.
Avoid Data Overload by Selecting Information Carefully
It’s beneficial to create a business plan to use appropriate information management solutions and establish rigorous standards for data retention. One or all of these three approaches may be right for you:
- Consider reducing the number of dashboards and tools your team uses to those that provide information on key performance indicators (KPIs). A KPI uses a variety of metrics to show how well your company performs in various areas. For example, tools that reveal opportunities for generating new revenue and those that track movements in revenue are more useful than those containing customer sentiment or buzz.
- Pay attention to the signal-to-noise ratio coming from various data sources. A signal-to-noise ratio measures the amount of useful information, or signals, you receive in comparison to the unhelpful information, or noise. If too much of the information from a source concerns unimportant statistics for achieving the goals of your business, you can consider eliminating that source from your list and simplifying your database by selecting information sources that pertain to individual subjects, rather than complex reports that address multiple subjects.
- Determine whether specific sources of data provide you with the quality of information that is instructive about some aspect of your business operations and rank each source according to the importance of the information to your business. This process can help you screen information, helping you reduce stored data.
Prevent Data Overload With Integrated Apps and Tools
Duplicated data clogs the flow of useful information throughout your business, and there’s an easy fix. When different teams share data, you can try to reduce the presentations to a visual format, making it less time-consuming to convey the relevant information. You can avoid data overload by presenting your accumulated data in a visual format, such as a graph or pie chart, which many people find easier to understand than a list of data in a spreadsheet. The type of visual graphic you use is easy to tailor to the final user, whether it’s the sales team or the accounting department.
You can save time and expenses by ensuring the systems each team uses work well with each other, and that can help avoid reformatting and multiple uploads of redundant information. When you adopt a new app or system, it’s a good idea to check for compatibility and integration with your existing software.
Streamline Your Company’s Data Analytics
Extended research projects generate lots of data, often making it difficult and time consuming to identify the most useful information for achieving the goals of your business. Consider changing your focus to analyze only the most useful information your tools and analytics provide, and limiting the time you spend on data analysis. You can establish new priorities for your decision-making process, evaluating and acting upon the most valuable data rather than less helpful statistics. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to how well your business serves mobile customers, and understand how people interact with mobile apps differently than the way they use websites.
Data Storage in the Cloud Helps Avoid Overload
You can develop effective tools to analyze data to reduce the costs of data storage and management for your small business. How do you do that? It’s beneficial to make sure all of the teams within your organization use cloud-based software systems that simplify uploading and sharing data. This can avoid unnecessary duplication of effort by multiple departments within your business and wasted time.
You may want to take advantage of cloud-based storage for the multitude of receipts, invoices, vendor profiles, and other documents your business saves for accounting purposes. For example, QuickBooks Online accounting software allows you to attach a wide range of documents pertaining to your business transactions. Using QuickBooks with QuickBooks Payroll eliminates the need to make duplicate entries to a payroll processing platform. The system automatically backs up data on a daily basis to prevent unavailability resulting from system outages.
As a small business owner, you always want to make the best choices for your company and avoiding data overload is easy to handle with online accounting software. 4.3 million customers use QuickBooks. Join them today to help your business thrive for free.