You require accurate, clean data to make the right decisions whether you’re in sales, marketing IT, or a different business function. This is where data management comes in — and that’s why it’s among the top technological trends to keep an eye on in the year of 2018.

Data management covers all the disciplines involved in treating your data as an important asset, and ensuring its accuracy, reliability and accessibility. This covers everything from data management to data analytics to managing your enterprise’s data storage lifecycle.

A well-designed data management strategy consists of six core, or primary characteristics:

Accuracy – The data should reflect actual, real-world objects and events, and be confirmed by reliable sources.

Completeness — The data must contain all mandatory values for example, sending a letter to a client with only their last names.

Consistency: the data should be uniform across all data sets and remain that way when it is updated or organized.

Accessibility – data can be easily retrieved by those who require it without the risk of compromising compliance standards.

A data management plan will only be successful if it is supported by all departments and business divisions. This is crucial because the impact of faulty data can be devastating to your organization. For example an IBM study estimated that ineffective management of data can cost the U.S economy $3.1 trillion a year in lost productivity and costs associated with data maintenance.