Data is nothing more than information, and data management is how we deal with that. Part of it is collecting, saving, and using data with safety in an effective and low-cost way. Another part of data management is the development, protection, supervision, and execution of information. And it is also programs, procedures, and methods to protect, control, deliver, and raise a company’s asset’s value.
Information is one of our most precious assets, either in our personal lives or in a company. Daily, we receive it from the most different sources, such as our own experiences, newspaper, conversation, books, guidelines, and much more. When it comes to a company, data is even more valuable as it can change the whole market. What would happen if all your information is changed without a track, lost, or even stolen? A complete disaster.
Considering information is a valuable asset, everyone must have a concise way of managing that. Whether it is personal or professional information, it is essential to develop means of organizing and accessing data, and how to integrate them into our daily lives, so we do not waste time to rescue the document to work with it. Its organization can change our routine significantly, and it can make us produce much more with little waste of resources.
But how do we do all of that? What are some techniques to do so?
We can show you how it all comes together in this article.
What is data management?
Data management can be vital to companies as it can drive their decision making, marketing campaigns, and business operations. Being well-informed can change the whole company’s market strategy. Having sturdy data management can lead a company to lower costs and increase operational efficiency with quicker processes, and upgrade corporation guidelines and methods. It can also assist leaders in making better decisions, and have an Information Technology team more concise and aligned to the company’s objectives.
“Organization” is clearly a keyword to data management. When you organize, you are not solely adding data to some boxes, but you are labeling them, giving access to key people, and making it easier to access in times of need. Without data management, strategic information would be out in the wind without protection, being a massive danger to any vital movement a company might take.
Let us imagine Coca-Cola had not had strong data management on its production. Every single company that tried to copy their recipe would now have a Coca-Cola identical product. It would be easy to find the same taste in most bottles in the market, and we would not know the brand as we know today. Their data management team made their recipe very secure, and they only give access to parts people work upon. Word has it that no one really has Coca-Cola full recipe – and that is not only a great marketing strategy, as it became a myth and urban legend, but a very well use of data management. See the impact that data management can have on a company?
None of this came up from nothing, however. There is a long history of data management and how it became what we know today.
For a long time, parchment was our way to register information, which evolved into the paper. For centuries, if we wanted to create, send, or receive information, we would have to write it down and decide what to do with it. Vast file archives were the only way to store data securely, with the need to use a key to access them. This kind of archive had and still has its value, for sure. We store information until today, either written or printed, into files according to our necessity.
Furthermore, systems of data management that we are used to were not as conventional. Way back then, from what we see in Charlie Chaplin’s movies, those kinds of data management were operational when they used a card to record when an employee would start their workday or leave it to go home. Exactly the boolean type of data registry.
At a given point, they would provide reports of business operations pulled from a database that stored data in columns and rows, usually a data warehouse.
As computing technologies advanced and computers became more accessible and affordable, people started to digitize documents so they could manage information better. Along with it, came the necessity of data management improving and renewing itself.
That is the moment databases come to picture as an essential tool for data management. Two principal models of data management were developed: the network (CODASYL – Committee for Data Systems Language), and the hierarchy model (IMS – Information Management System). Details of storage depended on the type of information to be stored in a way that users should have knowledge of the physical database to use it properly.
In the ’70s, a relational model was proposed by Edgard Frank Codd, who disconnected logical structure from databases from physical storage. From that, databases advanced in a way they developed their own structure and languages, such as SQL (Structured Query Language), a worldwide known and used programming language.
Databases are not the only necessary tool in data management, though. Data management goes much further than the use of databases to record, store, and recover information. It is a subject that aims to facilitate the handling of data. If you have all your information well organized and filed, being able to access them becomes an easy task – and securing them becomes effortless.
Concepts in data management
Having robust data management can lead a company to have more advantages against its competitors, and data management concepts understanding is vital so that the company, as a team, can deliver its best data management. As mentioned above, data management is not a simple organization through files and archives, but to strategically understand what kind of information you have in hands, who should you give access to it, where to store it, and, the cherry on top of the cake, how to use that to your advantage.
When it comes to data management, it is crucial to keep in mind some topics and definitions. Only then it is possible to create a concise strategy to tackle data concerns.
- Data access: it means being able to access your information whenever and wherever it might be. You need to care to organize your data logically, so you spend less time trying to find it. With proper data management, it will be more accessible, and you will be able to work with it better;
- Data quality: it is making it guaranteed that every data is precise and utile for your objectives. Starting when your information is accessed, it goes through many integrations built with other data, including the moment before publication or report;
- Data federation: it’s a virtual data integration that allows the user to have access to different sources of information without changing them or even storing them in different environments;
- Data governance: it’s a continuous flow of decisions and rules for the company’s data management in a way it makes data strategy be aligned with business objectives;
- Master data management (MDM): manages, unify, and defines common data that are current and necessary to every department of a company; and
- Data streaming: it is applying logical patterns to data as they come up, recognizing and filtering data according to their need, through multiple utilizations, as they are being received by the organization.
Why is it so important?
Every person involved in managing information must be engaged when it comes to consistent data management, either for their personal or professional life. It goes from decluttering your desk, removing any paper you are not working with at the moment, and storing them in a secure file, to having highly secure passwords on your devices.
Managing data can make a company outperform others in the market if done right. Every industry or market field have their own secrets and strategies, and being aware of what differentiates you from your competitor is vital. Data management comes in the necessity of keeping your know-how in secret, for example, by studying carefully what data each professional should have access to.
For digital data, one way of applying data management is continuously creating backups. That can be quickly done daily after working on a subject, and you do not even need to do it manually. There are ways to automize backups, leaving you to focus on what is essential. Cloud computing is another way of securing your data, as it saves your project automatically as you work on it. Besides saving hard drive space, cloud computing is a solution that allows a continuous backup with the benefit of being able to share it easily. As technology advances, cloud computing enables you to select who has access to one information, when, and which type of access they will have.
Besides constant backups and cloud computing, you can also have monitoring tools on your computers and files. Tracking accesses, shares, downloads, etc. can help you map and solve any case of failure in your security system. It facilitates to understand what had happened if a confidential file becomes public. And that is very essential if you ever need to do damage control.
For a better understanding of why data management is so important, think of police stations and their data. Let us picture for a moment we are back in the ’50s when all documentation was done in paper stored in file boxes in the back of the department. People could take hours, or even days, to find a vital document of a case. Accessing information in crucial moments could be a matter of life or death – literally. Data management brought quicker access to detectives to go through relevant files of the case, allowing them to focus on what matters: finding the criminal. Besides that, cryptology for securing those files is a powerful weapon in data management, to protect the investigation’s progress and list of suspects. Data management also allowed better communication between cities, States, and even countries. Powerful, right?
If you do not have reliable data management, you are prone to some risks that can lead your company or project to fail. Every company nowadays depends on the internet to fully function for many reasons: contacting suppliers or clients, making advertisements and other marketing campaigns, and connecting different locations in different cities or even countries. Being on the internet probably means having a bullseye on their backs to hackers and people intending to do harm.
Risks of not having a strong policy
There are many risks when it comes to data management, as we are dealing directly with information that can be public, sensitive, or confidential. Follows below a shortlist of some of them that might interest you.
Outdated security configuration: many solutions make the personalization of their security methods, so they can manage access restriction strategically to protect the database. It is not uncommon for companies to not take advantage of this feature, and they become more vulnerable to data security failure.
Cyberattacks: every company is a cyberattack victim in potential, as there are people with bad intentions and cyber criminals out there. They look for ways to get into the company’s database, looking for valuable information that can be sold in the market. They can also use viruses and malware to collect personal data and bank access information.
Disasters: let us state facts: accidents happen, and they happen more than we would want them to. The company’s data can be affected by human error, either accidentally or not, natural disasters, or loss of equipment such as computers and notebooks, broken files, etc. Without robust data management, all information stored can be lost.
It is part of data management to address those possibilities in general. Protecting private information can be the key to protect your company from a downfall.
How to maintain a secure and practical system
There are many ways to secure your information, and it is easy to find techniques and software that allows you to manage your data. Some simple actions on your routine can do the trick for working data management.
When working on a team project, everyone in the project must know what it is about, what their role is in it, and at which point it is as a whole. Keeping a whiteboard with crucial information, which should be classified as public so confidential data is not disclosed, is a great way to share information with the team. You can add deadlines, infographics, delegations, and such. Some data management software has this function, being even more practical, allowing the respondent to share what is needed to be known. As mentioned, data management is more than the security of information, but its clearance, visibility, and accessibility to those who need to know about it.
Keeping it simple is also a way of data management. As much as possible, trying to group together all data to be managed can change your routine. There was an interview made with IT managers that showed that more than fifty percent of companies work with more than ten storage platforms. After a while, managing all those platforms become exhausting, considering the volume of information to be administered. Having fewer platforms, integrated on the software of daily use, makes productivity rise to something tangible.
Cloud computing is an excellent tool to complement data management. As mentioned, cloud computing allows a real-time update of what is done to information, being easier to track who accessed and changed what. The only challenge is finding a provider that meets your needs for speed, visualization, real-time assessment, etc. However, quick research can tell you exactly which platform is better for your objectives.
Automating processes can be powerful for data management, as well. With fewer prone-to-error actions as it is done by artificial intelligence, automating central or sub-processes can help productivity. The platform can identify and notice patterns to quickly understand the information, your classification, storage, and access.
For developing robust data management is essential to understand your project and company’s needs, and where do you want to take them. If you are working on a digital design project that needs to be secure, real-time updated, and quicker to access technical data, you probably will want a CAD software that provides all of those data management tools. And for that, SolidFace is definitely your software.
SolidFace and data management
Solidface is a user-friendly computer-aided design (CAD) software that enables you to create, edit, share your 3D models, and much more. Providing powerful tools for your creations it reduces cost and enhances your ROI.
We help you design more freely and with security, dramatically improving how you design and manufacture products. Our CAD packages include design, cost estimation, simulation, sustainable design, collaboration, manufacturability checks, and data management.
SolidFace grants you built-in version control, and powerful yet simple to use data management tools, solving the expansive need of a separate PDM system. Keep your team up-to-date on your project, and track every modification made on the model, which can be reversed at any time. You can also develop parallel product ideas with branching and merging.
1) Share your CAD, not your files!
Share your project instantly with your team or supply chain using SolidFace. You can control who can access, edit, or export the design data – which can be managed at any time, possibly revoking or granting access permissions as needed.
2) Branch, merge and compare.
Your team can envision multiple designs and make changes simultaneously in individual workspaces branched from the main 3D design. Visually compare and inspect different models from the main 3D design and merge all the best ideas to it.
3) Simplified UI.
With a simplified interface, SolidFace is a very user-friendly tool that can be accessed by people from different backgrounds of knowledge, either they are your clients, suppliers, colleagues, or friends. They will be able to find any information they desire without the need for any formal training.
4) Versions and edit history.
You can track modifications and history of versions in a few seconds. Any changes made by a teammate is recorded in real-time, and retained for the lifetime of a project. Our CAD software can show you each modification and who made it in the product design tree. Each event can be viewed, compared, and restored.
5) Task management.
Assign tasks to your teammates by inputting their names/key in comments attached to the project. Each user’s open request is listed and ready to be reviewed at any time. Track their modifications and insights in a simple way.
6) Simultaneous editing.
Workgroups can simultaneously work the same assembly, part, and even the same sketch with edit permissions. All changes occur in real-time so that everyone with access can see it instantly. Our versions and branching make it really easy to manage teams working simultaneously at the same design.
We can provide all of these tools for your 3D design, and much more.
Collaboration: our CAD software is an easy tool for you to create, control, edit, and share your designs, allowing you to track any modification that another user makes on the project in real-time. Share your 3D projects with clients, suppliers, team, or even your friends. You decide.
3D Part Library: we give you access to over a hundred million part numbers from hundreds of leading component manufacturers and distributors, and you can also access many standards such as ISO, ASME, GB, DIN, NF, and ANSI.
3D Parts: Use bottom-up or top-down technologies to design simple or complex surface and solid models. SolidFace has a robust set with powerful parametric capabilities, speeding your design even more.
3D Assemblies: create detailed and intricate assemblies with built-in hardware and parts linked from other libraries and projects. Test collision in movement simulations. Design and manage parts in-context and their updates, without the risk of broken links and missing files.
Drawings: automatically create drawings with parametric references for modeling straightforwardly and interactively. Edit those drawings in a few seconds. This is an in-house developed module fully integrated. Showcase drawings with dimension, surface finish, weld symbols, datums, etc. Our solution supports and exports DWT, DXF, and DWG file formats.
Bill of Materials: sets of attributes are composed of a group of data that defines rules, denomination, information, and more about parts or details. It can be processed later to generate a list of data.
Parameterization: our feature is one of the best advantages of using SolidFace, being present in all design steps. It is not different for 3D motion simulation: it is updated with the movement, simultaneously. It can also simulate 2D mechanisms, which can be executed either in 2D drawings or in a 3D sketch module.
Support: we work hard to give you the best support, and you can reach us directly on our website, and we offer free of cost support on entry-level requests via e-mail or ticket opening.
SolidFace is definitely the best solution for your design creations, allowing you to securely use the best tools in the market for 3D designing in only one CAD software.