3 Great Ways to Improve Data Flow in the Workplace

data-flowOne of the most important ingredients to having an efficient and productive company is communication. If communication is interrupted, it can have serious consequences. Issues will not be addressed before they become serious problems. That can result in lost income, losing customers or even serious legal consequences for the company and its owners.

Versatile Mobile Systems said, “To insure that communication remains open, you need to make sure you have the appropriate means to allow a healthy data flow throughout the company.” Here are three ways you can improve data flow within the workplace.

1. Invest in Big Data
Big data, like a lot of things that have become buzzwords in the business world, may not be easy to define for many. However, explaining it doesn’t require knowing technical jargon. Big data is the use of computer servers to store more information for the purposes of business than what was feasible in the past.

It’s an over-arching strategy in which a company begins recording and storing massive amounts of data regarding sales, products, customers, production, utilities, machinery, labor, vendors and suppliers. This is done for the purpose of amassing a large amount of data that can later be parsed and analyzed by big data analytics software to find patterns, trends, outliers and other data points that can be used to benefit that business.

Implementing a big data strategy within your company means opening the floodgates to data flow. By analyzing the kind of information you collect, you may discover that certain products only sell during certain times of the year, that your products are not reaching certain important demographics, that you’re wasting a lot of money on inefficient production processes and possibly many other things as well. According to Forbes, 83 percent of business owners say big data is making their companies more profitable.

2. Create an Open Company Culture
One of the biggest barriers to data flow within a business is company culture. There are many ways company culture can impede the communication of important information to other parties laterally and up the chain to management and upper management. To solve this problem, you need to have a more open company culture and make it a policy to breed openness and transparency within the organization. As CNN explains, company culture starts with the CEO and works its way down.

In many corporations, there are mafia like buffers that exist between different levels of management. People high up in the chain only communicate with specific staff. Others have to rely on communicating with those staff to pass on the pertinent information to upper management.

This is where problems can develop. Middle managers and others that exist as a conduit between upper management and those down below may try to restrict the flow of information. This is often done as a means to curry favor or play politics. Overall, it’s not something you want. People in upper management need to be more hands on with all levels of the company, and those that transmit important information, even very negative information, in a timely manner to management should be rewarded instead of punished.

3. Give Your Employees the Right Tools
Effective data flow and communication within an organization also means giving employees the right tools. Consider different tools you can give to employees to help them communicate with coworkers, customers and management in an efficient and effective manner.

One great tool for this purpose is collaboration software. This is software employees can use to collaborate as a team on a project. It allows them to move a project through each step from planning, to testing and beyond. It also does so in a way in which communication between different team members is always open.

It can allow team members to communicate directly with each other with chat features and discussion boards. It also allows team members to comment on each other’s work by leaving notes on different parts of the project. Such software can even allow employees at completely different locations even thousands of miles apart from each other to collaborate effectively on projects.

Overall, data flow and communication is one of the life bloods of a successful company. Data needs to be able to flow from all parts of the organization to where it is needed for a company to stay efficient and profitable. Make sure you put policies in place that allow for the unimpeded flow of data and communication.