Business intelligence is an important element of any company, largely because it can greatly influence decision-making. However, various firms get caught up in the processing portion of implementing custom BI solutions because their sources of data are numerous and extensive in what they offer. With so much information getting recorded, it's only a matter of time before professionals get overwhelmed or lose sight of what is actionable. Proper data management becomes essential as a means to deliver results that executives and other decision-makers can use to better their business. That means understanding how it functions as it relates to their jobs.

Breaking down the fundamentals
The key to understanding data management is to identify and assess sources of data as they relate to operations, according to Dashboard Insight. When determining what processes need or record data, it's much easier to filter out the raw stacks in such a way that it creates something far more actionable.

Consider how a company determines overall revenue, for instance. It comes from sales figures and the selling of assets, among many other metrics. At the same, the places that record this information also record procurements, purchases and other transactions. In order to glean the most data regarding revenue, systems and filters are in place that separate cost-producing transactions from revenue-producing ones.

Data management can have a lot of different parts.Data management can have a lot of different parts.

In either situation, the only data that matters in a business intelligence situation is what companies input into their systems in the first place. One of the critical points of data management is keeping the information relevant and clear of errors. Duplications and mistakes found in the data negatively impact decision-making for obvious reasons, and it can ultimately lead companies in the wrong direction in critical circumstances.

Data management is also a matter of applying data to specific processes, not just linking to them. As Hub Designs Magazine noted, there are a lot of different forces in a company that business intelligence influences. Consequently, it's essential to clear out several important matters when managing data, such as who the stakeholders will be, what analytics platforms are in use and what challenges companies should seek to address in getting better data.

To best run a data management program, it's essential that businesses integrate all the parts of operations that will be affected by the information. That way, the decision-making process is as comprehensive as it is informed.