If you are still relying heavily on spreadsheets for communication and decision-making, you can’t have a high level of trust in the data quality. Improve data accuracy and organization with a comprehensive data management strategy for better decision making and reliable reporting.
Anyone that uses spreadsheets regularly knows just how easy it is to make a simple mistake with devastating consequences. Everyone has experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize you have placed a decimal point in the wrong position, miswrote a formula, or any other human mistake.
Lack of trust in data results lowers the confidence in the decisions you make, both on a daily basis as well as those more strategic decisions. If you don’t trust the data in making simple decisions, will you ever be able to answer the tough questions like:
These are tough because they are not questions that can be answered by looking at a simple list – like total revenue, total bookings, inventory, orders, etc. These are all composite type of metrics, combining different data elements. This type of metric might vary in definition and also start to involve some of that “other” data that doesn’t even reside in your enterprise applications.
If you can honestly reply that you trust it implicitly, that data is updated in (near) real-time and always accurate, then read no further. You have a solid data management strategy and have executed it well.
Chances are few will exude that level of confidence. Too often the response will be, “It’s close enough (I hope)” or “I don’t trust it” or “I know it isn’t accurate, but it is the best I have.” So instead of making good data-driven decisions, you make decisions based on a combination of data and gut feel.
Achieving the goal of having all the data you need, where you can readily and easily access it and can trust it implicitly takes careful planning. But it also takes technology.
If you don’t understand all the underlying technology needed to make this happen, seek assistance. In fact, if you have a data problem today, it is probably best to seek assistance in developing a data management strategy. If you don’t understand the technology then it is likely that you don’t understand what is possible today.
You might seek help from an independent consultant, a systems integrator or from the technology vendors with which you will need to engage in order to effectively define and execute your data management strategy. The technology vendors that will be of most assistance will be those that can see beyond the technology, those who understand business and business needs.
Look for a technology vendor that does more than just try to sell you software. Look for a “solution” provider in the truest sense of the word – one that can help you formulate a data management strategy in order to solve your data problem today and into the future.
Learn more about Third Wave business management solutions and how we can restore confidence in your data management strategy.