The volume of data being generated by businesses has grown at an explosive rate, and will only continue to grow into the future. That only complicates the task of trying to analyze and make informed decisions based on that data. For data-driven businesses to be successful, now and in the future, barriers must come down and data must begin to be shared across the organization to create a single source of truth.
What is a Single Source of Truth?
A single source of truth, or SSOT, is the concept that all aspects of a business have access to the same aggregated data to drive their decision making. Simply put, this is an “all data lives in one place” approach. This gives decision-makers a clearer picture of the data they have, the obstacles facing the business, and provides informed insights into the solutions for future growth.
The Challenge of Creating a Single Source of Truth (SSOT)
Most would agree that the single source of truth (SSOT) concept is a pretty common sense approach, however putting it into practice is frequently not as simple as it seems. Many businesses are using multiple platforms for data collection and management, such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), applicant tracking systems (ATS), business management systems (BMS), accounting, human resources, and so on. Each of these has a number of different providers, and each of those with various options, upgrades, and customizations. The options available are dizzying to say the least.
The complexity comes in how well all these different options work together. The amount of data that can be shared between platforms can vary greatly. Often, you may find yourself having to enter the same data in multiple places. This is a red flag that you have a data silo – a repository of data that’s limited to one entity and isolated from the rest of an organization. Data silos can hurt your business in a variety of ways: Incomplete or inconsistent data, inefficiency due to duplicate data entry, reduced collaboration, and an unclear “big picture” of the company leading to subpar decisions and an inability to react quickly to critical situations.
Data silos are the antithesis of a single source of truth. Poor data leads to poor decisions. This is why a comprehensive view of your data is critical, and a robust integration is at the very heart of an SSOT architecture. In some cases, it may be beneficial to consider consolidating many of these functions into a single custom solution that better fits your business process.
When you put the SSOT concept into action, it provides several benefits to your organization, employees, and customers.
1. A Total View of the Business Performance
If you want the complete view of your business, you need data on how all the parts are contributing to the success of the whole. Only by combining data from individual departments can leadership measure their effect on the overall goal, track progress, and monitor trends to predict future growth.
2. Eliminating Duplicate and Inconsistent Data
With siloed data, separate units within the business may be tracking the same data points. By integrating the data and sharing it among all units, you ensure everyone is drawing conclusions from the same, up-to-date dataset. This has other practical benefits such as freeing up storage resources and avoiding inconsistencies where the same data points are being entered slightly differently, leading to different interpretations.
3. Increased transparency
With an SSOT, it is possible to more easily share relevant data through reports, dashboards, and other visualizations both within the business and with customers. This can promote employee satisfaction as they can see how their individual contributions affect the overall goals. Furthermore, this data can more easily be monitored and shared with customers and stakeholders to show company-wide metrics that garner trust and demonstrate progress in key areas.
4. Increased productivity
Productivity improves greatly when the team no longer needs to hunt through multiple platforms to find the data they need. With an SSOT in place, less time is spent collecting information and more time can be spent discovering new insights and identifying future growth opportunities.
5. Increased accuracy
An SSOT helps mitigate the risk of errors due to the same data being entered in multiple places by multiple users, potentially in different ways. Verification of data is quicker and decisions can be made faster with far more confidence in the validity of the data.
Build a Single Source of Truth to Drive Growth
The first step to solving any problem is to identify what the problem is. From there, the path to fixing the problem becomes much clearer. Having an SSOT will help your business evaluate its challenges and chart the path to solutions. With a robust array of services and extensive background in software integrations, Dorian Solutions can provide the expertise you need to create your unique SSOT solution and start realizing the benefits sooner. Contact us today and we will help you get back to growing your business, and not just running it!