Regain control over your disconnected data

Critical information is likely stored across multiple systems in your organisation. All of your organisation systems - whether they’re paper based, electronic, or a tangible asset - contain valuable information for your operation. Disconnected data occurs in any instance where one or more of your systems operates in silo, preventing you having a coherent view of your organisation as a whole.

Inevitably, isolated systems become impediments to growth in your organisation. Tracking, analysing, and driving improvements is often impeded due to disconnected systems preventing you obtaining a complete view of your organisation.

Common causes of disconnected data

Disconnected data is often a product of an organisation’s evolution, where they’ve been forced to adopt different distinct systems over time. A specialised system, developed for a specific use case, can quickly become outdated, especially if isolated from other business systems.

The most common example is when an organisation has as accounting system which is disconnected from their inventory of procurement system. Both procurement and inventory systems generate cost information that needs to be recorded by the business. However, often the method of recording is to manually enter the data into the accounting system, increasing your labour costs and spreading inefficiencies.

How can a lack of system integration and visibility impact your organisation?

There is a strain on any organisation’s ability to make informed commercial decisions if their key systems don’t communicate with each other.

Worryingly, many businesses tend to overlook the symptoms of disconnected data. Often, these symptoms or frustrations become the norm, rather than resolvable problems.

The impact of disconnected data on your organisation can play out in multiple ways:

  • Your team spends large amounts of time and effort transcribing data
  • Access to critical business information is delayed
  • Useful and valuable systems are underutilised
  • Errors occur during the data transcribing process
  • You have no way to capitalise on valuable data available to your organisation 

How do I know if a lack of integration is damaging my organisation?

Tracking manual data flows in your organisation is the easiest way to recognise a disconnected data problem. Often, this can be as simple as recognising that a spreadsheet or report is most often a product of transcribing data.

For example, if someone in accounts is regularly waiting for a report or an Excel spreadsheet from your warehouse, it is highly likely the data is being entered manually – costing you time and money.

How can you manage the system integration process to prevent data silos?

There are many ways to move data from one system to another. Some methods are complicated, but there are many simple and straightforward methods.

Most modern systems, like Xero or Salesforce, have API interfaces that allows you to streamline and manage data from multiple systems. This capability enables smoother integration and less manual, error prone data manipulation. However, if you are unable to automate the integration between your systems, there will almost always be a manual option available to you. For example, most accounting systems have the ability to import data from a CSV file. This enables you to extract valuable information from your disconnected systems, and import data without the need for manual transcription.

5 benefits you can expect from integrating your systems and achieving organisation wide visibility:

  1. Reduced data entry errors
  2. Improved decision making efficiency
  3. Reduce administrative workloads
  4. Gain greater visibility of the potential or your organisation’s systems
  5. Improve your ability to make informed business decisions

Could your organisation benefit from data completely integrated view of your systems? Give the Mintec team a call and discover how you can successfully connect your systems and regain control over your organisation’s information.

This month’s blog is an extract from our eBook, The Intersection of Hardware, Software and Big Data. To download the entire eBook, click here.

Copyright © 2017 Mintec Systems, Melbourne Australia.