One of the most complex and costly challenges businesses today face are the questions surrounding data. Depending upon the size of the business, data needs may vary. But, no matter the size, organizations accumulate more data sources and the task of interfacing these can still be daunting.
Not only is data generated in the course of business, but the types of technology now used in business create data of their own. Smart phones, apps, and social media are just a few essential technologies, but their use in business produces data that should be captured and tracked.
As organizations continue to leverage cloud technologies, questions such as how to integrate data from outside sources into usable data within a business, will become more complex.
Diagnosing the Problem
Just as every business has different strategies involving areas such as sales and marketing, each business needs a data strategy specific to them.
In determining whether or not you have a problem with data solutions, think about this:
- Do different departments in your business, use different computer systems and software?
- For example, do sales, marketing, HR, payroll, and others all use different systems for tracking data?
- Can various department’s data interface with each other?
- Can HR send over data to payroll that directly transitions into payroll’s software systems? Or does someone have to enter the information by hand into spreadsheets?
- How many hours per month do employees spend compiling data and generating reports? Is there a seamless way to transfer the data to those who need it, or does the information have to be manipulated, subjecting it to human error?
- Can departments see each others data in real time, or does complex information transfer cause delay?
- Have new survival systems been developed to integrate others, but end up creating yet another system that eventually is transferred to the I.T. division?
Due to the complicated nature of business data, there is no “silver bullet” approach to tracking, storage and integration. The solution relies in a business’ willingness to take a multi-faceted approach.
Such an approach may include:
- Investment into restructuring I.T. systems
- Contracting with I.T. specialists to assess business needs
- Willingness to embrace advances in data systems
- Continual analysis of changing I.T. needs
Technology continues to change the pace and face of business. Because of this, data issues will stay at the forefront of organizational challenges. Businesses must build data solutions around long-term, highly flexible strategies.
If you have questions about data solutions for your organization, or other I.T. needs, please contact us today.