Is disparate data holding your organisation back?


In the digital era, enterprises of all sizes deal with immense volumes of data. Customer details, product and service information, e-mails, the list goes on. Essentially all aspects of modern operations have a digital footprint.

Information overload costs the US economy $900 billion a year in lowered employee productivity and innovation.

While the benefits of having access to all of these insights are vast, many organisations struggle with data being scattered across multiple systems and locations. Information overload costs the US economy alone $900 billion a year in lowered employee productivity and innovation, according to research by Basex. The velocity at which new information is created only compounds the issue, and having disparate data sources has emerged as one of the most urgent challenges businesses face.

In fact, disparate data could be actively harming your business!

Siloed data is stopping you achieving insight

Research by Forbes Insights in 2016 found that only 27 per cent of surveyed executives felt confident in their organisation’s ability to derive insight from data initiatives. For growing enterprises or organisations spread across multiple departments, establishing multiple data repositories has been driven by necessity – this valuable information must be stored somewhere, after all. But problems arise when that siloed data needs to be connected.

These silos can make it difficult for teams across the organisation to access data when compiling reports, conducting investigations or running analytics processes. Companies lose all ability to use their data to ask the critical business questions. As noted in a survey by Capgemini, having disparate data sources has become the most significant roadblock for implementing big data initiatives, with 46 per cent of organisations noting it as a concern.

A lack of organised data can be seriously harming your business’ productivity.

Making data accessible, regardless of its location, is therefore critical. Doing so gives teams the tools to tap into information efficiently and allows valuable business insights to be shared. Using data consolidation techniques to move everything under a single umbrella is certainly an option, albeit an expensive and immensely time-consuming one. That’s not to suggest that improvements to data integration shouldn’t be explored, but that there may be more cost-effective and rapid solutions available.Siloed data severely hinders productivity, damages risk and compliance management efforts and obscures potential revenue opportunities. These issues can become extremely costly. For example, a recent report from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission noted that in the six months leading up to June 2017, $618.8 million has already been paid in compensation and remediation due to risk and compliance issues.

Data isn’t going anywhere – the longer you operate with restricted insight, the more difficult to stay up to speed.

How to solve the problem of disparate data

Breaking down the walls between data sources is the key to improving the performance of all manner of important initiatives, from boosting productivity and revenue generation to meeting risk and compliance obligations. Data is not going away, and the longer organisations try to operate with restricted insight, the more difficult it will be to stay up to speed with the competition.

Enterprises and government agencies need access to all of their data in a timely fashion, but undertaking a costly data consolidation programme may not be a realistic endeavour. Investigating more efficient, simpler options may be the right strategy, allowing the dismantling of disparate data silos without the cost and disruption.