Article of the week 34 – 2021

The Benefits of shared knowledge – Why you should avoid data silos

Today, the need to have timely access to essential company data is no longer limited to just a few departments that evaluate data. In a best-case scenario, the majority of the company can access this data quickly and without unnecessary queries, provided it is available in the form of a data warehouse or a similar solution.

However, in the first step, specific questions often require an overview of the totality of all data collected in the company by various departments, in order to select and evaluate the most suitable data for the specific question in the next step. To do this, the data being considered must first be requested from the individual departments or work units. Once the correct contact person has been found, a time-consuming question and answer game often begins in order to obtain the desired data. It is not uncommon for the exchange with the department that is to provide data to be so time-consuming that the original question has already lost relevance by the time it is fully answered.

Unnecessary data silos prevent ideas from moving forward

This form of data silos is still a major challenge, especially for fast-moving companies. Entire projects can stall because the “data gurus” have a long list of other requests that must be processed first. Worst of all, colleagues can be so put off by this lengthy process that they don’t even follow up on an idea because of the unnecessary time it takes to query data. The danger is that potentially innovative ideas fall by the wayside.

In addition, data silos present the danger that data of different topicality is kept and maintained in different areas. This leads to inconsistencies and different data statuses. This in turn makes it difficult for processors to obtain the latest data or to be sure that they have the latest status.

How to organize data management sensibly and efficiently

Be clear about which data is actually so sensitive that the access must be restricted. All data that does not fall into this category should be prepared in the most user-friendly way possible and made accessible to as many work units as possible. Additionally, you should also consider if it makes sense for departments or work units to have their own expertise in data evaluation. By having this capability, a work unit will be able to work with raw data as well. At the same time, you reduce requests for data specialists and increase efficiency. The use of ERP systems offers an opportunity to maintain a common database in the company and to make it accessible to the various units. By providing this database, you also avoid different data statuses and have a uniform data basis throughout the company, on the basis of which decisions can be made.

Dominikus Leicht –  Junior Consultant


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