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Breaking Down Data Silos Through Digital Transformation

How can Digital Transformation connect your organization?

“Information is power. Particularly when the competition ignores the opportunity to do the same.” Mark Cuban

Your organization holds a wealth of data – but it may be hidden in spreadsheets, emails, or outdated software. The true value of this information can only be unleashed when it is accessed and combined for a holistic view of the organization. That’s when business transformation occurs.

To truly revolutionize your business, you’ll need a digital transformation strategy that leverages enterprise-wide data for actionable insights. However, these projects are dependent upon accessing valuable data that decision makers need. In today’s connected, fast-paced world, what pervasive barriers exist that prevent access to data and restrict a company’s potential?

Historically, each department (or silo) wants will want to own and protect their data, especially if it is critical to their daily work activities. The chances of their data being distributed and altered in the organization are often a concern and a reason why they don’t want to share their data.

In addition, department-specific information, especially if it contains sensitive data, may be restricted for fear of a data breach. For this reason, HR records, customer payment information, and revenue data are types of data that are kept closely guarded with limited access to a select few authorized individuals.

Inaccessible data may also be due to tradition or inconvenience. Common excuses include we’ve always done it this way or if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Individual departments may have outdated systems with archaic commands and finicky reporting that make it difficult to access department-specific data.

Finally, some individuals perceive that information is power. Data-owners want to maintain control over who accesses and uses their data and are reluctant to give up their authority.

But if companies want to remain competitive, they must leverage all of their information. To do so requires digital and business transformation. Data owners must learn to work together, not separately, to integrate and use company data wherever it resides.

A holistic approach to decision-making

Information helps people make better business decisions. If unavailable, people will make their decisions based on past behavior, not current trends. Data driven decisions help companies make better decisions by combining, analyzing, and reporting relevant information that is specific to a customer, product, or other relevant factors.

Shifting to a data driven decision making approach requires organizations to rethink how they interpret everything they But to do so, they must be able to access – and use – data have access to data, from all departments, to get a holistic view of the organization. To achieve this goal requires a digital transformation approach that consolidates data, using robust systems like ERP software, to connect the entire company.

Looking at the organization as a whole, as opposed to individual silos, empowers allows leaders to make data-driven decisions that directly affect the bottom line. Decisionmakers gain actionable insights into productivity, revenue, or expense trends that can only be seen by combining, not segmenting data. To leverage this power, it’s vital that companies understand which data and what systems will help them gain these insights.

Digital transformation helps companies become more successful by breaking down data silos and sharing data across the organization. It democratizes data, making it readily available and more powerful to the organization at large.

New insights, new challenges

Data driven decision-making challenges organizations to establish business goals and define the criteria for meeting them. This approach allows organizations to examine previously inaccessible data, ask new questions, and rethink their standards for success.

Digital transformation is the means for companies to access and analyze data that was previously stuck in department silos. Depending on the new systems implemented, reporting will often become more robust, accessible to onsite and remote users as well as business partners and vendors. Reporting allows leaders to make better decisions, starting with breaking down data silos, focusing on a holistic approach, and using the right systems to connect the organization.

Where should you start?

Breaking down entrenched data silos requires uncovering existing data, identifying how it is used, and understanding the people affected by the old and new systems. Using an experienced digital transformation consultant can help lead you through the following steps.

  1. Audit each system: Each organization will use a myriad of systems to store, process, and report their data. There may be multiple spreadsheets housed in a shared data portal that may include separate (but not integrated) accounting and order management systems and CRM software. Strategy and planning, often led by a digital transformation company, will take a comprehensive look at each of these systems, outline corporate objectives, identify where data is stored and used, and identify options for retiring, upgrading, or implementing new software. Users across the organization must be engaged to not only access existing data but to leverage their knowledge in planning future systems.
  2. Create a cohesive system: After the system audit, a digital transformation project will focus on what data is critically important to the organization, what software should be used, and then implement a cohesive system that provides a holistic approach to decision making. During this Executing phase, the software is developed, tested, and implemented, often in an Agile environment for quick successes that aligns with your digital strategy. Ensuring that the system has a mobile app ensures that employees and users stay connected wherever they are, in the office, on the road, or working remotely – a necessity in today’s competitive environment.
  3. Train and engage: Once an enterprise-wide, cohesive system is in place, it is vital that the people who originally wanted to protect their data now readily accept and use the new system. Engagement, communication, and training are all part of the confirmation phase of digital transformation that helps all users adapt to the new system.

Data-driven decisions will transform your business

Breaking down data silos is the first step in achieving a connected organization that takes a holistic and data driven approach to decision making. Digital transformation is the way to achieve that goal and remain competitive.

Captivix is a leader in digital transformation, helping companies become more successful by harnessing the power of their data through the use of ERP, website, and mobile app development. For more information, click here; we’re expecting you.

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