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Do you really know your data? How does the term “data” apply to your company? Data differs from one company to the next. When most people think of data, they think of demographic or statistical information – attributes, if you will, about people or things: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, birthdate, gender, race – car model, make, year, color, etc.

Sometimes a company may not know the best way to handle, manage, and/or store this type of data. This is particularly evident on many websites. There are many websites that will only collect first and last name. What about fathers and sons with the same name? What about all the John Smith’s in the world? How do you tell one apart from another? It’s better to collect as much information as possible, such as middle initial and suffixes (Jr, Sr, III, etc). You need to know HOW to collect the information also. You don’t want to make available a free response text field for a state field. You will get many variations in state abbreviations, which will mess up your data and cause you to have to clean it up later, wasting a lot of time.

Data encompasses much more than just attributes of “things”. Data includes communications you’ve made with people. It includes notes about projects; to-do lists, events on your calendar, invoices, inventory, employee time sheets – the list could go on and on.

What do you use to store all of this data? You might use Microsoft Excel or Access. You probably have a lot of Word documents – a few PowerPoint presentations. You may have your contacts stored in your Microsoft Outlook or Entourage. Maybe even Address Book on Macs. Your e-mails and calendar events might also be in Outlook, Entourage, iCal, and/or Mail.

That is a lot of places to go. Additionally, to find some of your files, you have to manipulate through multiple layers of folders, and then double-click the file to open it. That takes a lot of time and is not very efficient.

Why not have all of this data available in one location – at your fingertips? There are many combinations available that can help your company become more efficient in its day-to-day activities. McPike Consulting has the expertise to help find the right solution to fit your needs.

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