Your business data can exist in many places and forms. This means that it can end up siloed within separate systems or departments, which can cause challenges.
How can you be sure that you are making the correct business decisions, or that your team is working efficiently when you have missing information and/or duplicate data clogging up your systems?
Not having the full facts about your prospects, sales, products or purchases, or your marketing list having unconnected data can all increase your effort and costs.
Why does this happen?
Different teams and departments can have separate data needs. Individual systems may be developed over time to meet business requirements but there’s one problem – they don’t join up. Data can be captured and held siloed within multiple systems that have no connection between them.
In today’s world of cloud services, many companies’ data is now being used and managed within multiple online services, as well as in-house legacy systems. As the amount of data grows, the manual processes put in place to overcome the separate systems becomes inefficient and unmanageable for companies.
What are the effects of disconnected data?
The effects of not knowing what data your company holds and it being disconnected can be huge.
Workload can be duplicated between teams, important insights can be lost at management level, reaction times can be slower and problematic data may even lead to fines.
If your marketing and sales teams use different systems that aren’t connected, your marketing team may not have accurate up to date information about customers’ purchases, which can lead to wasted ad spend.
It can also lead to basic admin errors. For example, if customer data is held on multiple systems and their company address is updated, how is that new data dispersed to the separate systems.
Data security and GDPR is another important issue that needs to be considered. Under GDPR, a customer has the legal right to request that you remove all their personal data. With data held in multiple systems, can you truly be sure the data has been removed from everywhere the data is held?
Why should I use a single source of data?
The guiding idea is to have one version of your data, with all related information stored together. Customer data is stored once and held in a single data store. Creation, updates and edits are applied to the same single data source and this single source is used and accessed directly by external systems via an API.
This can also help reduce the number of systems used (and training required), as well as improving trust in your data and reporting. In turn, this means more streamlined and quicker decision making from opinions based on in-depth reporting, made available by holding all the data elements in one place.
A single source of data helps teams work together and makes their jobs easier, helping them feel connected as a company rather than separate teams. It reduces employees’ mistakes by enabling automation and enhanced insight on each piece of data by connecting it together.
How can AB help?
We love streamlining data! Out Web team can audit your systems, look for efficiencies and put forward recommendations.
To see where this has been put to great effect, check out the work we’ve done for the Guild of Fine Food. This case study explains how we helped transform their business by creating a single source for their data from their legacy systems.
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