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Streaming 4K video uses up to 7 gigabytes of data every hour. In other words, if you streamed 4K television 24/7, it would amount to over 61 terabytes of data each year. That means that the streaming service stores not only those 61 terabytes of content but also data about you, your watching habits, the device you’re watching it on, your account and subscription information, your language and subtitle preferences and thousands upon thousands of other pieces of data.

Data is a driving force behind business in the modern age, which is why Strategic Data Management is too important for businesses to neglect. Strategic Data Management encompasses the entire lifecycle of data, from the kinds of data you collect to how you store and share it.

Key takeaways:

  • Businesses are generating and collecting more data than ever.
  • Strategic Data Management is a holistic framework for managing data from start to end.
  • Optimizely can help you make the most of your data

Data in the digital age

Businesses generate, acquire and use huge amounts of data. The planet generated more than 64 zettabytes (or 64,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) of data in 2020 alone, a number that’s projected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 23% every year.

While consumers generated some of that data, 95% of businesses say that managing unstructured data is a significant problem for their organization. As data increasingly drives business decision-making, companies are collecting more data than ever, which leads to a new complexity in storing and managing digital files.

However, despite the growing complexity of data management, it’s proven to be an effective way of boosting sales and increasing ROI. In other words, while data management is a difficult task, it’s an essential one. Data is so valuable for businesses that some have called it “the new gold” of the digital age.


Defining strategic data management

Strategic Data Management (SDM) is a set of frameworks or rules that an organization uses to manage data. Every company has data—things from documents to email records to directories. Strategic Data Management goes beyond simple data hoarding, which is why companies use it to gather the right kind of data, store it safely yet accessibly, glean insights and share it securely with others. Strategic Data Management covers four aspects of the data lifecycle: collecting, storing, analyzing and sharing.

  • Collecting data is relatively easy, technologically speaking. What’s harder is collecting the right kinds of data and doing so in a way that makes that data useful throughout its lifecycle. That’s why companies use Strategic Data Management to define data acquisition and retention policies.
  • Storing data used to be simple: back when business data existed exclusively on paper, data storage looked like a filing cabinet or a bookshelf full of ledgers. Today, data storage is exponentially more complicated but also exponentially more important. Data storage has to accomplish two things. First, data has to be secure so that unauthorized users can’t access or modify data. Second and seemingly conflictingly, data has to be accessible so that authorized users can access it reliably and remotely. Walking the balance between security and accessibility is part of why Strategic Data Management is such an essential practice for businesses.
  • Analyzing data is what gives it its value. You already know every phone number in the world… you don’t know who the numbers belong to. Strategic Data Management includes a framework for making sense of data. Without a robust set of rules for how your company collects and stores data, even the best software in the world would have difficulty making meaningful insights out of it, which is why Strategic Data Management must be a comprehensive framework for managing data throughout every part of the lifecycle.
  • Sharing data includes sharing with both internal and external parties. Similar to the double-natured requirements for storing data, sharing data has to be secure and accessible. Companies typically encrypt data when sharing it, a process that involves algorithmically “scrambling” plain text using an encryption key which the recipient then uses to decrypt the scrambled document back into plain text.


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The value of strategic data management

In the past, data was just a byproduct of conducting business. Business activities generated data that companies could use to accelerate growth or discard with little consequence. Today that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Data is a key driver for business decision-making. Consumer data is a valuable commodity—for example, an email address is worth an average of $89 to a brand over time, while medical records can be worth thousands of dollars.

A study by Experian found that 85% of organizations consider data to be one of their most valuable assets, but a lack of understanding hampers their success. Those 85% of organizations are most likely correct: Forbes notes that some companies’ data is worth more than the companies themselves. For example, American Airlines’ market cap (a not inconsiderable $8 billion) is completely overshadowed by the $19.5-31.5 billion dollars of customer data they own.

If this data is so valuable, why aren’t companies capitalizing on it? Simply put, they aren’t using Strategic Data Management to its full potential. Much of this precious data disappears into history: companies only capture a little over half the data they have access to and only leverage a little over half of that. Altogether, companies use less than 32% of the data they have access to, leaving the other 68% either uncaptured (44%) or unused (24%). 

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Digital experience management with Optimizely

The digital world is revolutionizing the business landscape at an incredible pace. While the technology used to follow behind business practices, today, many businesses have found themselves sprinting to keep up with technology’s pace.

Optimizely can help.

Optimizely is a CMS platform that specializes in digital experiences. That includes e-commerce, marketing and SEO optimization, and how your company collects, stores, analyzes and shares data.

Strategic Data Management is too important to leave up to fate. Trust the professionals at Optimizely to help guide your digital experience journey and make the most of your assets.

To learn how Optimizely can help, request a meeting and customized demo today.