At times, companies may feel like they are swimming in data. It’s an information overload, and a lack of organization can lead to many mistakes in consolidating, validating and analyzing data, particularly when it comes to complying with government mandates such as ACA filings with the IRS and EEO-1 reports with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Failing to provide accurate information in these filings can result in significant penalties. As technology has advanced, records have become digitized, making it easier for the government to request even more data from employers to not only demonstrate compliance with government regulations but also for the EEOC to assess how effective their regulations are at achieving their goals. A good example is the recent decision by the EEOC to add payroll data to EEO-1 reports to more effectively address pay equity issues.
As requests for data grow, it’s more important than ever for your organization to develop a data inventory that is organized, structured and easily accessible.
Consider hiring an outside vendor with expertise in this area, either to review the current system you have in place, to advise you on creating a more robust data management system, or to manage your data for your organization. There are third-party vendors who are equipped to manage data inventory and keep all of the data in a centralized location, where information is at your fingertips. Investigate if it makes sense to store your data in the cloud for easy access and sharing. Many cloud-based data systems are much more affordable and secure than in the past, and offer easy access to data without sacrificing security for company employees, no matter their location.
Also consider engaging third parties who understand how to consolidate your data across disjointed databases, and cleanse and validate it to ensure its accuracy. The best third-party experts will provide you with the type of data management and analysis that can lead to important business insights to improve operational efficiency and financial performance.
Information demands are likely to keep growing. A well-organized program to inventory and store data is critical for your business to keep up. Being prepared to better harness the power of your data will ensure effective regulatory compliance processes and make your business more competitive.
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