For a business, not having one version of the truth could mean not knowing if there’s a problem, how big it is, what the cause is. It could mean a team is doing redundant work or not doing enough based on the information they’re being given.
The lack of vital, reliable information could prove fatal for a business. Collaboration across and within teams is key, but this is an area in which most organisations fail.
Let me paint a picture: different groups of technical staff in a company are working on a single project. Each group is keeping track of their own progress, sitting in their individual silos, storing their data in separate places and in numerous systems and performing their own analyses.
There is no single source of shared data. No one actually knows the current status of a project and data and information is not being communicated across the board.
When you have several teams, tying all this together can prove a long and arduous process so any analysis performed will not reflect the full picture. Meaning you are not getting a single version of the truth.
The project data analyst will spend most of their time collecting data, cleaning and organising it and merging it all. The process is even more time consuming when the data is split across several different types of data tools.
With all the fragmentation and several versions of the ‘truth’, it’s difficult to gauge actual performance for a project. Clients could be receiving contradictory information from different sources within the company.
Or imagine this. In your sales team, a situation arose that a salesperson in your company has contacted a potential lead, that lead has irrevocably asked to be removed off all your marketing lists but that information has not been shared in some central space.
Another salesperson in your company has the same contact, held in a different repository, and they contact that person also, with the same spiel.
I don’t have to tell you the implications of this scenario occurring over and over again. But I will – your company will look like a bunch of rookies. Not to mention the ramifications of not being compliant with GDPR, the buzzword currently at the forefront of data, marketing and CRM managers’ minds.
Can you see how incompetent this would make you look? Why risk your reputation?
And why risk basing crucial business decisions on incomplete operating data by not having one version of the truth?
The need for a single version of the truth when it comes to working off data, whether it’s operating data, marketing data, project data, or whatever data, is imperative. And the data insights need to be presented consistently, from a single (approved) source of truth.
Every manager, salesperson and project stakeholder (internal or external) needs to agree on the validity of the data (or data analytics based on the data) they access, in order for them to trust the information and be confident of its reliability so they can act appropriately on it.
After all, as my favourite statistician the late Hans Rosling put it, ‘the idea is go from numbers to information to understanding’. Real understanding that provides value to your business.