Can you trust your data?*

Every organisational unit has amassed large amounts of data, so much so, we specifically reference the magnitude using terms like, data ‘warehouse’ or ‘lake’.

But how can we be sure the data used to report on our metrics is the same across all departments when we have our own databases and we may not collaborate?

You turn to a single source of truth (SSOT).

SSOT is a concept whereby organisations adopt a system design that only stores each data element once as the source of truth. That means one employee name, employee address, list of external suppliers, etc.

A 2013 Gartner study, The State of Data Quality: Current Practices and Evolving Trends, found businesses were losing $US14.2 million per annum due to incorrect data.

This may be due to having multiple databases, AI
insights or internal spreadsheets on which decision makers erroneously rely.

Often, data is skewed toward a single view or version of a metric, such as measures of revenue by finance vs. sales teams.

Without confidence in the data informing decision making, executives are less willing to support new ideas, new investments in technology or quality initiatives.

Organisations not maintaining good quality data are at risk of not pursuing growth opportunities, non-compliance and the associated consequences.

But SSOT adoption is not easy.

A recent global survey of 430 chief finance officers cited legacy technology and data structures, multiple data sources, lack of internal collaboration and cost, as barriers to adopting a SSOT solution.  

The task is undoubtedly challenging and requires organisation leaders to collaborate and identify a universally accepted data point as the source of truth for each metric on which decision making relies.

Best practice suggests a staged approach to roll out, possibly by functional area, starting with finance.

By adopting SSOT architecture, organisations can manage the data lakes they have created and harvest them for competitive advantage. Conversely, failure to do so could be catastrophic.

*Copy supplied by Frontier Software