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Are you adding value to your database? Effective database management tips

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:30am Tuesday 28 July 2009    Print Article

Every recruitment agency has some sort of database to store candidate/client contact information, notes, conversations, jobs, resumes, files, invoices etc. A properly designed and well maintained database can help improve internal efficiencies, provide accurate data, cut costs and speed up the recruitment lifecycle.

Managing and maintaining confidential data is not only good business practice - it's a legal requirement! Here are some of my top tips to manage and maintain your database.
  • Appoint an internal user to champion and implement correct database management processes.
  • Enforce and maintain proper user access. Regularly conduct data access audits to ensure users are not accessing data they are not supposed to. Never allow users the ability to delete records or access unauthorised data.
  • What kind of information are you collecting? Is it necessary, valuable, important or legal?
  • Ensure that everyone in the organisation (including external stakeholders) are educated in the importance of maintaining good-quality data. Hold regular review meetings to ensure that your data quality processes are up to date, efficient and effective, and remain so.
  • Are you correctly capturing, inserting and validating data? Depending on the system, it may be possible to enforce rules on the type of data entered eg. length & type of data (letters, numbers & special characters).
  • Before adding a new contact into the database, check to see they are not already on the database. This may sound like common sense, but unfortunately there is not always a "unique" contact identifier - users can have more than one email address, and can be known by variations of their full name. If you create duplicate records, ensure that they are merged as soon as possible.
  • Files should always be stored as read only. You do not want a user to accidently overwrite someone‚Äôs resume!
  • Measure data quality. No matter how good the systems and processes you put in place to capture data across all touch points, it is essential that you have a way of measuring the quality of the data over time.
  • Never delete data! Deactivate (or hide) the record and record a file note. You never know if you need it in the future.
  • Review potential threats (internal/external) to information stored in databases. How secure is your database?
  • Regularly repair, optimize and backup your database.
  • Create a disaster management plan. You never know if something may happen.

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Article Tags: database candidate database database management recruitment database data integrity data capture data validation data quality information management information systems tips

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