Everyone knows that success in business is the result of good decisions. Good decisions rely on business information and reporting, and good information is derived from good data.
Dictionary.com defines information as knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc., all of which is derived from factual data.
There’s no question in today’s world that there is an abundance of data and information. Data that drives the information we use can come from a variety of places. Internal reports, external systems, data warehouses, and spreadsheets are the mainstays. Each area of the business has their own focus and their own information needs. But how that information is derived and presented has inherent problems.
A single source of truth allows a company to firmly believe in the quality of the data in their core business system. They are confident in their ability to use this information to make sound business decisions.
There are five main characteristics of quality information: accuracy, completeness, consistency, uniqueness, and timeliness. At the heart of it all — quality data.
Accuracy of data is fundamental to quality information and the business decisions that it supports. While a single source of data is not a guarantee, it lends itself to higher accuracy.
Completeness basically speaks to the population of data and information. Incomplete information can easily lead to poor business decisions because the whole picture is not being seen.
Consistency is where the real value of a single source comes into play and where an ERP system like Plex can reduce data and information inconsistencies. What does consistency provide? If business users are all working from the same underlying data, they are less likely encounter discrepancies despite being transformed and reported differently. Bottom line, if the data is not consistent there will almost certainly be discrepancies and conflicting results between information and reports.
Uniqueness has a couple of perspectives. Internally, uniqueness can come from how the information is accumulated, manipulated, organized, and presented. The same underlying data can paint a very different picture based on these factors. Externally, the uniqueness comes from the ability to do all these things in a manner that is different from the competition and hopefully provide an advantage.
Finally, there is timeliness. Common sense tells us that current information is more valuable than outdated information. Given the volume of data that exists in the marketplace today, real-time data from an ERP like Plex gives the user the latest and greatest and minimizes outdated information.
Often, when we meet a new customer – they have no less than 5 systems that are disparate and not connected to each other at all. We frequently see this in:
- Sales orders and invoices
What I have witnessed from many of our customers is that meetings between departments are based around HOW to pull together data and the discussing how quickly we can do it to make a decision. In contrast, if you had all information in one place or if all systems “speak” to each other, everyone can see the data in real time and spend the meeting discussing it.
- “Hello Scott, could you provide me the total amount of sales this month so I can calculate COGS and post a journal Entry?”
- “We seem to be having issues with XYZ Vendor, could you pull all our quality data so we can compare to our total purchase orders to find out if there are patterns?”
- “I see in this live report that our sales are down in the Columbus area market this month, what can we do to ramp up marketing in that area?”
- “Per the data, XYZ Vendor has had 10 check sheet fails this week, please call them to see when we can get new product or reach out to ABC Vendor.”
In summary, all companies have computer systems in place to run their business. If the data in these systems is not timely or accurate, people will use alternate sources of information to make decisions, which is inefficient and potentially inaccurate.
That’s why it is important to utilize a modern ERP system such as Plex as the “single source of truth.” All departments work more efficiently and make sound decisions quicker knowing they are always using high quality, real-time data.
To find out more about how to get the highest quality data from your business systems, contact Revolution Group at [email protected].