Insight from Agora Consultants

Can your organization handle the truth?

Do you need help getting your organization to stick to the facts? Is there lots of data in your organization but hesitation to share it? Be utilizing some Business Intelligence (BI) best practices these problems can be tackled.

The power of BI is combining information from various data sources to form a comprehensive picture of a business function. The data source is the book of record for the business function. For BI to work effectively, the data transfers from the book of record to the reporting system (such as a datamart) without human interaction. Since each data source may exist in different business units there are often different data owners.

This level of transparency and automation can be challenging in organizations. A business unit may be very concerned about “the wrong data being incorporated”. Prior to an effective BI system a business unit might manually handle the data before it is delivered to another business unit. They aren’t necessarily changing the truth, it may just be they have a level of knowledge which requires the data to be modified to met the needs of the other business unit.

To create an environment which allows the seamless flow of information, undertake the following:

  • Tackle the source system of the data to ensure the data is clean. Sometimes the hesitation to provide access to data is a concern that the data may not be correct.
  • If there are business process that currently manually transform the data see if they can be automated and pushed back into the source system.
  • Get Executive Sponsorship right from the top. Ultimately all business units roll up to someone. Getting that Executive to commit to unaltered information sharing will send the right message to the individual business units.
  • Demonstrate the advantages of open information. If information flows between business units there will be a lot less requests for information that has to be prepared manually.

Organizations have rich sets of data which they can use to improve their business. The data needs to be accepted unaltered to make it useful. Putting in place the right foundation will allow information to transfer more seamlessly between business units.

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