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Three Steps to Renovate Your Company’s Data

By   /  April 13, 2016  /  No Comments

Click here to learn more about Erin Latham.

We all dream about renovating our homes. We’re addicted to HGTV, and we scour the Internet in search of inspiring ways to update our houses and make them more livable. A good home revamp doesn’t just make our lives easier; it also boosts our equity.

The same can be said for a good data revamp.

A company that renovates its data will decrease its storage and maintenance costs, streamline and improve its operational performance, and gain access to state-of-the-art reporting and analytics tools that boost business performance.

The Perks of Data Renovation

Data needs to be stored efficiently and effectively in order for it to be useful.

Too many companies choose to silo their data across a number of different databases, saving everything they collect in case it’s needed sometime down the line. When this is the case, businesses end up wasting tons of time sifting through collections in search of the information that matters today.

Countless businesses also still depend on Excel as their primary reporting tool. Their employees spend hours manually combining data from different databases and spreadsheets. But this approach hinders trend reporting and forecasting and leaves everyone with a headache.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to get your data in order.

Data renovation gives you the opportunity to leverage new innovations and take advantage of cutting-edge technologies. These can give you the flexibility to access ad-hoc reporting as well as a full suite of functionality for your internal and external transparency and reporting needs.

Current technologies offer cloud-based strategy, performance, and reporting SaaS solutions that make life so much simpler. They allow you to increase your reporting capabilities while dramatically decreasing reporting and data maintenance costs. Current and historical data can be combined quickly and easily into one single view of your organization, and because these solutions are hosted on the cloud, there’s no need to buy additional hardware or pay hefty implementation costs.

The Renovation Process

Building an addition onto your house takes multiple skills. You need to be handy with power tools, be unafraid to climb a tall ladder, and have at least a basic understanding of architecture. Data renovation, on the other hand, is a lot simpler than you’d think.

Here are three simple ways to implement your renovation:

  1. Seek consolidation opportunities. Just as you would empty your closets before renovating your storage space, you should first identify all of the business applications being used throughout your organization. Then, look for opportunities to consolidate and share information across departments.Without an aggregated picture, how can you decide where dollars need to be spent? You need access to all of your data in order to report, audit, and reconcile it, and consolidation will provide the actionable insights you need.
  2. Identify your historical needs. Just like you probably don’t need those boxes of clothes you haven’t worn since college, your company doesn’t need the accounts data it collected in the ’80s. When you’re migrating your data to a new system, you need to consider how useful your historical data will be in the future. Don’t be afraid to ditch data that might be skewed by external elements such as economic factors.Data is only valuable when it’s current and relevant. Keeping everything “just in case” is seldom a good idea; it often results in outdated, inaccurate analyses. By overcoming your data-hoarding habit, you can filter out unneeded material and create a more efficient path toward achieving your strategic objectives.
  3. Keep a strict schedule. A good home maintenance schedule goes a long way toward extending the life of your home. If you ignore that leaky pipe for too long, it will only create a long list of new problems over time: water damage, mold, increased water bills, and countless costly repairs. Doing a little work on your data today will save a lot of work (and money) down the road. Consider running daily reports and always reviewing them for accuracy. Doing this will make your monthly reconciliation process much simpler because your data will be valid, organized, and ready to use at all times.

Don’t let your data storage get out of hand. Renovate it, then religiously keep it organized, relevant, and consolidated in a cloud-based business intelligence solution that will give your consumers actionable intelligence and remove costly data silos.

You’ll soon see the value of good data housekeeping.

About the author

Erin Latham, Founder of Mo'mix Solutions Erin Latham founded Mo’mix Solutions with the goal of delivering software and services that drive better outcomes for the public sector and education. She has served as a technology government adviser focused on ERP, budget, business intelligence, and open data/transparency solutions to local and state governments and higher education organizations for more than 15 years.

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