What is Data Management Plan? Why is it Important?

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Written By Haisam Abdel Malak
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It’s not easy to stay on top of security breaches, data leaks, and other data-related issues. Imagine the embarrassment of not being able to protect your company’s confidential information or the drama of losing customer data. Stay safe by implementing an efficient data management plan that addresses all aspects of security and protection.

A data management plan is a document that provides a detailed description of the data and its intended use. It also outlines the strategy for managing the data and for preserving it, where applicable.

A DMP is part of an overall data management strategy that will help you identify what kind of data you need, how much data you need, where it is coming from, how long it needs to be stored for and what kind of security measures are needed for the protection of this sensitive information.

This article will discuss what a DMP is, why your business needs one, the various types of plans that are available, how to make an efficient plan, and the risks of not having such plans in place.

Why do I need a data management plan?

Data is the new oil. It is the lifeblood of every organization, and an effective data management plan can help your company make better decisions, increase productivity, and improve customer experience.

The purpose of a data management plan is to provide guidelines and best practices for people who are working with the organization’s data, as well as those who are responsible for ensuring the quality of its data. Data management plans can help organizations comply with various laws and regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and FERPA.

Organizations need to keep their data management plans up-to-date so that they are not out of compliance with regulations or the law. Keeping your plan up-to-date ensures that you are using best practices for handling your data as well as protecting your customers’ privacy rights.

You need an effective data management plan to:

1- Better data quality

There are many benefits to having an effective data management plan in place. A good DMP will save you time and money, as well as providing a better quality of information.

Organizations should strive to improve data quality which has direct impact on the decision-making process. Using the perfect strategy and data automation, organizations can create the ultimate policy that suits them.

2- More efficient data management

Managing data has never been more difficult, from the proliferation of new devices and sources to increased regulations and compliance. It has evolved from being a problem to a necessary business solution, and the world of big data is quickly becoming a necessity in many sectors.

The need to keep up with ever-increasing data volumes and growth in use cases has driven businesses to invest heavily in IT infrastructure and tools, but this also means that DM has become a high-cost endeavor.

By implementing best practices, organizations can make sure that their data is being managed in the most efficient way and challenges are planned for.

3- Higher customer satisfaction

One of the most important benefits of an effective data management plan is that it can increase customer satisfaction. This is because by being able to provide accurate information to customers, and by giving them choice instead of imposing decisions on them, one can help reduce customer frustration.

4- Reduced risk of data loss or theft

A business needs a DMP to ensure that they have the ability to back up and secure their data. A business that has a good strategy and DM policies will reduce their risk of data loss or theft.

Embracing online data management can also play an important role to help your organization provide a secure environment for data.

What are the types of data management plan?

The three types of data management plan are:

1- Archival data management plan which is designed for long-term preservation of data.

2- Curatorial data management plan which focuses on managing and preserving the quality of a specific dataset.

3- Research data management plan which is used by researchers who need to share their datasets with other researchers.

How do you create a data management plan?

A DMP should be created in conjunction with a business plan and can be used to help achieve strategic objectives. It should also be updated regularly to reflect changes in the organization, new technologies, and any new regulations that may affect how the organization uses data.

The following are some of the key sections in a data management plan:

1- Purpose

The purpose is to help organizations understand their data needs and ensure that the right level of access to information is granted. This will help with understanding who will be accessing data, how long they’ll need it for, and what they’ll need access to.

2- Scope

It should outline the tasks you will perform and the policies you will follow to manage your data. It should also include a section on your data security and privacy practices, which can be found in the confidentiality and privacy section.

3- Data sources

In order to ensure that all data is collected and stored properly, it is important to have a clear idea of what data you are collecting in the first place. This way, any discrepancies can be caught early on and fixed.

4- Data storage and security

An effective data management plan should outline clearly how data will be managed and used. It should also include information about storage, security, retention and disposal.

Data governance and data management should be both applied to make sure that your digital assets are secured and stored properly.

5- Data sharing and disclosure

It should outline the research, data sharing and dissemination strategies for sensitive or confidential data. The DMP ensures that the researcher will follow all necessary ethical guidelines when conducting the research.

6- Data quality monitoring and maintenance

To ensure that the data collected is of high quality and can be used properly, it is essential to understand the monitoring and assessment involved when collecting data. There are various types of data quality monitoring and maintenance, such as:

  • Data verification and validation
  • Data collection procedures
  • Quality control and quality assurance
  • Audit trail

7- Metadata standards

In order to create a solid plan, it is necessary to identify the purpose for which the plan is needed, create metadata standards and determine how long the data will be stored.

Here is your ultimate guide on how to manage metadata best practices.

What are the risks associated with not having a DMP?

Without a data management plan, the risk of data loss is high. The company will also not know how to respond in the event of a data breach.

The risks associated with not having a DMP include:

-The risk of data being lost or stolen by unauthorized third parties.

-A lack of control over who has access to the information.

-Lack of protection against cyberattacks and other threats.

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