The cost of inaccurate business data and how it can impact reporting
Data management is essential to the success of any organisation looking to ensure data accuracy and data integrity across teams. As data from various sources becomes more diverse and interrelated, inaccurate data hinders an organisation’s overall efficiency and puts the quality of decision making at risk.
What are some of the costs associated with inaccurate data?
Distorted operational performance
Accurate data is essential when it comes to reporting and performance measurement. Without reliable data, your team’s ability to accurately measure performance, identify opportunities for improvement, or even evaluate progress over time is completely compromised.
When data that does not truly represent the reality of operations is combined with inaccurate reporting, the result can be extremely costly for a business. When poor quality insights are shared with upper management, this could cause limitations to decision-making, missed opportunities, and incur serious financial costs. This is why ensuring data accuracy should be one of an organisation’s top priorities when undertaking data collection and analysis.
Poor quality decision making
Poor decision-making as a result of distorted data, can cause financial losses, missed opportunities, and the exit of customers to competitors due to unmet expectations, or issues arising from inaccurate data reports.
To prevent these obstacles, businesses should focus on accurate data collection, data warehousing practices and analytics systems that allow teams to continuously monitor their data. With efficient data tools in place, leaders at both a team and organisational level can be confident their decisions are based on sound information - a priceless asset to any business.
Potential loss of revenue
With many organisations now realising the value of data driven decision-making, and using data to inform business plans, marketing strategies, and long-term projections, the risk of revenue loss due to poor quality data is clear.
If data reports are inaccurate, decisions based on those reports risk organisations missing out on potential opportunities to drive revenue growth through data alongside other efficiency gains. The inability to accurately identify sources of revenue losses or unaccounted for expenses may also cause a large amount of resources to be spent on data revisions rather than productive operations.
Challenges with customer retention
From data collected through customer surveys, to data gathered from sales reports, data plays a significant role in an organisation’s success and the sharing of this data across teams is key.
However, when data quality is not accurately maintained or is ringfenced to individual teams, it can dramatically impact customer retention as a result of misunderstandings about customer needs and requirements that ultimately lead to dissatisfied customers leaving permanently. It is crucial that data is accurate, up-to-date and accessible for teams to deliver the best solutions for customer needs, thus ensuring companies remain competitive in their sector and retain their valued customers.
What is a data management platform in modern day reporting?
In order to make data-driven decisions, organisations need to be able to collect and analyse data quickly and efficiently. A data management platform (DMP) is a tool that helps organisations do just that, providing a secure data repository and data access layer, allowing data analysis with the highest level of quality. It does this by managing data throughout its lifecycle, from acquisition through to delivery.
Data management includes tasks such as data cleansing, data transformation, data security, and data governance. By managing data effectively, a DMP can help organisations make better decisions, improve operational efficiency, and optimise customer experiences.
In modern business, DMPs provide organisations with a comprehensive view of data, enabling them to effectively analyse data trends and create data-driven reports. In order to ensure accuracy, they use data quality algorithms which allow data reporting experts to generate powerful visuals and comparison charts in a few clicks, and even help automate data collection. By taking advantage of DMPs, organisations can maintain up-to-date records of past events, better gain insights into customer behaviour, and strengthen their decision-making.
In short, data management platforms are essential for any organisation that needs to gather meaningful data for better decisions in order to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
When and where to use a data management platform
As organisations create and consume data at unprecedented rates, data management solutions become essential for making sense of the vast quantities of data. Deploying and implementing a DMP throughout an organisation across its respective business divisions and departments, each working with varied data sources, would be most effective. A wide range of technologies, tools and techniques can be employed and applied as part of the data management process. The following are considered the fundamentals for the application of a data management platform:
Data governance is closely associated with data quality improvement efforts and is a critical component of effective data management strategies, especially in organisations with distributed data environments that include a diverse set of systems. Business executives, department heads and users must be involved to make sure their data needs are met and data quality problems are not perpetuated.
Ensuring that data quality levels are high is a key part of effective data governance. Key data quality techniques supported by a data management platform include the following:
- data profiling: scans data sets to identify outlier values that might be errors;
- data cleansing: fixes data errors by modifying or deleting bad data; and
- data validation: checks data against preset quality rules.
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Data integration enables an organisation to combine data from different data sources, within its divisions and departments, for operational and analytical uses. Data management teams and department heads that drive the most efficiency for their teams make use of the following data integration processes:
- ETL and ELT: batch integration processes that run at scheduled intervals;
- real-time data integration: methods such as change data capture, which applies changes to the data in databases to a data warehouse or other repository;
- streaming data integration: integrates streams of real-time data on a continuous basis; and
- data virtualisation: uses an abstraction layer to create a virtual view of data from different systems for end users instead of physically loading the data into a data warehouse.
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Data quality management
The objective of data quality management is to make data more accurate, complete, and reliable, with the aim to fix data errors and inconsistencies. Data quality management helps by combining organisational culture, technology and data to deliver results that are accurate and actionable.
Here are 5 pillars of data quality management to help department heads ensure data quality at their organisation to meet their requirements:
- People: data professionals that are either responsible, accountable, consulted or informed about data quality control in an organisation
- Measurement: data characteristics and key performance indicators that validate the presence of data quality in organisational datasets
- Processes: processes that companies use to improve their data quality
- Framework: a systematic process that consistently monitors data quality, implements a variety of data quality processes
- Technology: Adopting a technological solution is the best way to ensure your team’s productivity and smooth implementation of a data quality framework.
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The value of using a data management platform to access accurate data faster
Data management platforms provide immense benefits to organisations. With a DMP organisations are able to develop data strategies to better understand the large data stores they may have obtained.
A DMP serves as a valuable asset when it comes to data strategy, data reporting, and data quality. By leveraging the capabilities of a DMP, organisations can connect data sources throughout their organisation, from sales, marketing, customer support, operations and anywhere else customer data is generated. This ensures that all data is clean, accurate and consistent across all departments, allowing individual teams to truly benefit from wider business data.
Data clarity for department heads
Simplify reporting by automating data collection and analysis
Collecting and validating data can be a time-consuming and laborious task. When it comes to creating departmental reports and the collection and analysis of data, the use of report automation and dashboards are unparalleled in maximising efficiency.Report automation for department heads and team leaders has multiple benefits, including:
- reducing time to insight,
- viewing robust data from various sources in a single place, and
- enhancing the accuracy of information and providing them with more time to analyse the data rather than collecting data.
Many organisations waste valuable time collecting and reporting data, rather than analysing it, to use for actionable insight.
Automate report distribution for increased efficiency
Automated report distribution is seen by many as the key to increasing efficiency within various business divisions. Business unit leaders are thus better equipped to make sound decisions that lead to improved outcomes.
By automating the process of sending out reports:
- both internal and external stakeholders can receive the information they need more quickly and with more accuracy;
- business units save costs associated with manual distribution;
- business units have access to faster insights into market trends, customer behaviour, and other key metrics that can help inform the decision-making process.
Using data to improve business operations
Data is collected from more sources than ever before, which, when used effectively, has a transformative impact on business operations as a whole.
Here are a few key ways that businesses are leveraging data sources to improve operations:
- data can help you better understand your current customers so you can improve retention efforts;
- using data to know when to switch suppliers could help the procurement division avoid major losses;
- data can also help the finance and buying departments track supply and demand trends so they can optimise orders, manufacturing and responsiveness;
- data enables business unit leaders to take proactive steps based on known information, using patterns and trends to make key changes to improve departmental output
Establish data-empowered business units
Create standardised reports with the help of a reporting tool
Having a clear understanding of data is invaluable to organisations of any size making it essential for a data-driven approach to data analysis, data reports, data management and maximising data quality, empowering users at business unit level. From basic demographic customer information to sales data, to marketing performance data associated with operations, and financial reports; having the knowledge and understanding of different types of business data can help focus efforts around shared business initiatives and set teams up for success.
A DMP provides respective business units within an organisation:
- the ability to more effectively target stakeholders;
- to personalise campaigns in order to maximise return on investment; as well as
- ensure data privacy processes are compliant with regulations.
Establish consumer behaviour patterns
A DMP is like the engine behind every successful customer-facing and delivery operation. It works by securely gathering and organising user information from multiple sources, such as third-party website data, mobile applications, and emails. This data can then be segmented into different buyer profiles – much like a Venn diagram – to identify common characteristics and buying patterns that allow marketers to intelligently target audiences across multiple channels, and that enables product teams to develop improvements to products or services.
In addition, DMPs are designed to anticipate upcoming trends within customer behaviour to develop insights that efficiently drive marketing strategies and product performance metrics. From tracking impressions to maximising ROI, a well-executed DMP can ensure your organisation has all the criteria needed to create campaigns and products that continuously deliver optimal results.
A data management platform can offer each business unit in an organisation a number of benefits including the ability to collect and manage large amounts of data, improve customer engagement, target specific audiences, and measure results.
When choosing a data management platform, be sure to consider features such as scalability, ease of use, security, and integrations.
Unlocking accurate business data for streamlined reporting
Accessing accurate business data is essential for any Product Manager or Department Head looking to deliver successful projects, build and develop their teams, whilst also building their professional profile. However, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to finding reliable and efficient data solutions.
At Biztory, we partner with organisations to support data accuracy and enhance data reporting, through a reliable data management platform. Our team of experts are ready and waiting to partner with you to create a stellar data reporting strategy that drives and supports accurate business decision making and growth.
Through this process, your business will take a significant step towards improved data management processes across your various business departments, with enhanced reporting capabilities, that empower your organisation to make better business decisions faster.
To discover the full value of an effective data management platform which empowers your department to access accurate business data faster and that which simplifies reporting for your team, download our whitepaper to explore ‘‘Ways to drive revenue growth through data and digital transformation’.