Having a data management system in place can free up quite a bit of time in your work life. No more wasted time and effort looking for information, no more repeated work because you couldn’t find the right version of a file, and the list goes on.
However, don’t think you’ve arrived just because you have a system in place. You’re not going to move the needle much without a goal for how to use your beautifully organized data.
If you’ve been following along, hopefully you’re thinking about finding all the data, resources or information you need and narrowing it down to what’s important. Now it’s time to consider what your goals are and how to make this information useful to the end user.
Don’t forget: Having organized, curated data isn’t the end. It’s the means to an end.
Data Curation That Makes a Difference
Whether you’re working on a report, presentation or another data-heavy deliverable, start by asking yourself these questions:
- Who is the audience? Take your audience’s comfort level into account with the subject matter and their potential uses of your data. Keeping this front of mind will give you clarity as you choose which information to include and how granular you should get.
- What are the expectations? This goes both ways. Consider your own expectations of what you want the audience to take away, as well as their expectations of what your deliverables will show them.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can solidify your goal for the deliverable and develop a strategy to reach it.
When you’re ready to move forward, keep a few data curation tips in mind:
- Hone in on what fits your goal and ignore the “extras.” Or to say it another way: Choose quality over quantity.
- When in doubt, simplify. When you think you can’t simplify things any further, do it anyway.
- Search for ways to improve your audience’s understanding. Visual cues (like graphics, maps and images) can go a long way.
Effective Data Management
Most organizations are able to find helpful data and research. But few curate their data wisely, identifying only the best data and communicating it effectively, so all stakeholders can move forward with confidence.
When you take this approach, your data becomes more than just data. It becomes a powerful tool that leads to better outcomes.
Need a fresh perspective to help you manage and visualize your data?
We can give you that.