Five Reasons Your Data is a Mess

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Expert Reveals Why Executives Can Never Get The Answers They Want From Their Company Reports

CEOs don’t need more data to make good decisions – just better data.

That’s what CEOs revealed in the 2009 PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ CEO Report, which reported more than 70 percent of CEOs say they aren’t getting the data they need to make good choices; with 74 percent say they lack the information necessary to anticipate customer needs.

The problem, according to Arkady Kleyner, Co-Founder of Intricity, LLC, a leading provider of Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing services and solutions, is actually not just one problem. There are at least five of them.

“C-level executives lack information not data. It is far too easy today to provide data dumps to the business and have them search for that proverbial needle in a haystack. Our assumptions of business value have to change,” he said. “Anyone who attends management meetings to review sales, inventory, or costs, knows the issues all too well. The most common question asked – ‘why are your numbers different than my numbers?'”. By fixing the data mess, companies can achieve a single version of the truth. .”

The key problems can be boiled down to six basic statements that should resonate with just about every corporate executive. They include:

1. There is one special spreadsheet on your computer that, if lost, it would make you cry – Aside from the issue of accessibility, these spreadsheets usually become outdated very quickly, and are very time consuming to update because the task of updating them is largely manual. They are also subject to errors and typos and lacking in security.

2. You hope an auditor never asks you how you calculated the numbers in your financial reports – When reports are the result of data that has been manually aggregated and consolidated from disparate sources, tracing the reported numbers back to their origins can be a horrendous task.

3. You have Acme Corporation in your customer database three times. Acme, Acme Inc, Acme Incorporated, and Acme Corp – When data is entered in different ways through different systems by different people, the task of bringing it together into a single picture can be a real challenge. This inevitably complicates the task of answering simple questions such as,”How much business have we done with Acme?” or “Is Acme a profitable account?”. Can you answer these questions today?

4. The only role whose level of performance is quantified in your organization is sales – In trying to calculate Return on Investment (ROI), it’s sometimes difficult to assign a dollar value to company functions that don’t plug directly into revenue. Therefore, the sales team will always have hardcore data regarding their activities, while every other department gets to exist in a vacuum without any sort of metrics. However, good performance management practices supported by near real-time data that can help quantify every department’s impact on the bottom line – positive and negative.

5. You don’t request the report you want from IT because, the information will be irrelevant by the time you get it – Too many company executives under estimate the effort required across the organization to produce accurate reporting. It’s not uncommon for monthly reports to actually take 30 days to produce. Better information management affords everyone across the business information that is timely and relevant.

“Regardless of company size, or complexity,” Kleyner added. “These solutions apply to anyone looking to do more with less. Effective data integration and business intelligence delivers a 360° view of business performance by bringing disparate data together, correlating it logically, and then presenting it in a way that drives the organization to action.”

Tony Panaccio is a staff writer for News & Experts Syndicate.

About Arkady Kleyner

Intricity Co-Founder Arkady Kleyner is responsible for the overall technology focus, company direction and the management of delivery capability and personnel of Intricity. He has more than 20 years of experience in engineering/architecting, developing and deploying the most intricate enterprise business solutions in America and Europe. He is a sought-after speaker and is a well-renowned expert in Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing solutions.

By Tony Panaccio

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