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Data Management in a Medium-Sized Business

Introduction

This paper will use a medium-sized business offering highly specialized, high-quality business development education services as an example. Table 1 illustrates how the mixed data can be managed in the company. Keys here are customers’ full names, customers’ identification keys, and their respective sales orders. In the latter, the first three digits show the course: 100 stands for business analytics, 200 stands for the social media marketing course.

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Table 1. Example of mixed (internal and external) data management: Customers and respective sales orders

Customer, Full Name Customer’s Identification Key Sales Orders
Customer 1 103010 2001
Customer 2 103011 1001
Customer 3 103012 2002
Customer 4 103013 1002
Customer 5 103014 1003
Customer 6 103015 2003

Table 2 demonstrates a way of managing internal business data. This example shows the employees’ PII storage.

Table 2. Example of internal data management: Employee data

Employee, Full Name Document Type Document Number
Employee 1 Passport 123456789
Employee 2 Passport 123456780
Employee 3 Passport 987654321

Finally, Table 3 illustrates an example of external data flow management. Here, the coded answers of an online survey are presented. The two questions presupposed a yes or no response and, thus, were coded in a binary form.

Table 3. Example of external data management: Coded satisfaction survey results (binary)

Customer’s Identification Key Satisfaction with the purchase Willingness to recommend the course Survey results
103010 1 1 1
103011 0 0 2
103012 0 0 3
103013 1 1 4
103014 1 0 5
103015 0 1 6

Data flow in the business

The diagram illustrates the relationship between the mentioned data entities and the major departments in the company. It is visible that internal data like employee information is directed to several departments since it is essential information for the HR department and the Accounting and Finance department.

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The data will be stored on cloud storage since such storage is more suitable for small and medium businesses (Attaran & Woods, 2019). The main criteria by which data storage on the cloud or server is distinguished are availability, safety, and security. Cloud storage is less expensive, but large enterprises may require a server that provides greater privacy. Thus, in the course of business expansion, it is likely that there will be a need to switch to local servers. At the moment, the advantage of cloud storage is that it is an ideal solution for working remotely.

External and internal data Flows in the company.
Diagram 1. External and internal data Flows in the company.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Security

Not only personally identifiable information is subject to protection, but the entire information system, that is, the programs with which the personal data are processed and the computers on which they are stored. If the computer is connected to a local network, it is necessary to protect the network equipment, cables, and server. For each employee working with personal data, it is required to create a separate account to log into the computer. To work, they must enter their name and password (and this password should not be visible on the screen) or attach an electronic key.

Computers must be configured so that after several incorrect password attempts, the user account is blocked. Each user should have the right to perform only those actions that are determined by their job responsibilities. Of course, dues must be cut within reasonable limits because a situation may arise when one employee has to replace another. An encrypted communication channel must be organized between their computers and the company’s server for the employees working remotely.

Wi-Fi, if not needed, must be turned off. If it is required, then access to outsiders must be closed with a long, hard-to-guess password. That is, the password must be a meaningless or random set of letters, numbers, and other symbols, preferably at least eight.

Information security events (for example, user login, failed login attempt, attempt to log on under a locked account) should be recorded in a unique log. In Windows, such a log is kept automatically. If there was an attempt to steal data, viewing the log will help to understand what happened, for example, who was working at the computer at that moment.

Reference

Attaran, M., & Woods, J. (2019). Cloud computing technology: improving small business performance using the Internet. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 31(6), 495-519.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Data Management in a Medium-Sized Business'. 10 April.

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