These days, it’s all about the data. And boy, is there a lot of it. In fact, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each and every day. The problem with that volume of information is that it’s hard to narrow it down to what’s important. And this is a big deal, because if you’re not working with clean, reliable data, it could be costing you money.
A recent report by Pitney Bowes revealed that 77% of companies believe they are losing revenue due to inaccurate and/or incomplete data. The report also states that the average Fortune 1000 company could increase revenue by more than $2 billion, simply by improving the quality of their data by 10%.
Without accurate and complete data, not only could you be missing opportunities for your property management business, but the decisions you are making based on that inaccurate information could be causing you to veer off course in the wrong direction entirely. Here’s how to clean things up and ensure that the data you’re using is clear and correct.
Step 1: Eliminate Human Error
One of the most common reasons for dirty data is that it was input incorrectly by someone, whether it was a simple typo or an unintentional omission. In fact, research by Experian lists human error as the largest contributor to inaccurate data, affecting half of all businesses. The fast-paced nature of the property management industry increases this risk.
Thankfully, there’s a relatively simple solution, and that is to eliminate manual data entry and shift that work to automation. Not only will this remove human error from the equation and result in more reliable and consistent data, but it’ll free up your team to apply their valuable skills elsewhere.
Step 2: Narrow Down Your Sources
How many places does your property management company obtain information from? If you’re like most modern companies, that answer could range anywhere from five to 20 or more. Having so many resources to tap into may seem great on the surface, but the higher the number of data sources, the greater the risk of inaccuracy.
Integrating systems is a great way to start comparing and validating information, but too many disparate systems can further complicate matters. The best way to deal with too many data sources is to consolidate your existing systems, platforms, programs and apps into one comprehensive, plug-and-play property management software solution.
Step 3: Develop an Actual Data Strategy
The third biggest contributor to dirty data is the lack of a well-defined strategy. Developing a data strategy will enable you to improve everything from where your data comes from to where you store it, and most importantly, how you manage, share and use that information to benefit your property management business.
A clearly defined data strategy ensures that your employees and teams are operating on the same page in terms of how data is collected and put to use. It also eliminates wasteful repetition, which could also be costing your company money. To develop a strategy, put the following tips into action:
Define the meaning of the data you’re gathering. Name each value, determine its format and decide what it represents. Make sure everyone is trained on and knows how to access documentation of these definitions.
Decide how data will be stored and managed. How will you add new information to the system? Always aim to consolidate and streamline your data into as few systems as possible.
Determine how your data will be accessed. Ideally, you’ll want to facilitate quick and easy access to information so that your team can make more informed business decisions faster. Access can then be tailored individually by role.
When used properly, data can help you iterate and innovate quickly – something that can provide distinct competitive advantage in the property management field. But your decisions will only be as good as the information you’re using. Applying the three steps above should help you to clean up, consolidate and capitalize on the value of data for your business.