Data Unification: The power of a single source of truth
Updated: Jan 5
Have you ever struggled with finding, updating, organizing, or sharing your data? A single source of truth, that grows as your business grows, may be exactly what you need.
In a digital age, data makes the world go round, especially in business. We rely heavily on data management systems to keep track of most of our business processes, from client information to suppliers and orders. Your data might currently be stored across multiple systems within your company. This complicates matters when trying to make data-driven decisions or trying to keep track of all your business processes because not all members of your company are looking at the same data.
The problem doesn't lie in the amount of data you have, the problem is knowing which numbers to focus on.
For information to flow within a company, everyone needs to speak the same data language. This can be achieved through a single source of truth. In this article, we run through the importance of having a single source of truth, and how this can help your business save time and money.
What is a single source of truth?
A single source of truth is a data management method that enables you to consistently source pieces of information from a single reference point. It describes a state of flow in which a company can up its potential through the integrity and reliability of company knowledge. While keeping all data in a single, secure location.
70% of CFOs agree that their teams need to manage data more effectively to extract valuable business insights. Many businesses know what a pain it can be if data is stored in multiple sources or across multiple teams. It is too easy to slowly lose track of where all of your data is stored as your organization grows. An error in these datasets can mean the difference between failure and success. Especially when you don't know exactly where the error is.
This can easily lead to upset customers, missing orders, incorrect data analysis and ultimately a decline in staff productivity and loss of revenue. A single source of truth allows everyone in an organization to have access to the same data.
How do you achieve it?
This is where an online database like DataGrows comes in. A database functions as a central location for all your data needs, in other words a single source of truth. The process of building a single source of truth can be broken down into 3 steps:
Sort data into components
Link from a central location
Let's take a look at what these steps involve:
Step 1. Sort data into components Currently content might be stored within documents or on pages, such as order forms containing: customer details, orders and invoicing details, all in one. By breaking this content down into its most basic components such as client information, product information, or orders, we can reference specific components in other departments or areas.
Step 2. Eliminate duplicates Whenever information is stored on forms or spreadsheets, duplication becomes easy. In the event that a customer places a new order, a new order form might be filled out and this customer might be logged as a new client, resulting in confusion and unnecessary data duplicates. Because a database stores data in bite-size components, duplicates are easily spotted and avoided.
Step 3. Link from a central location Components are referenced and reused from a single source, throughout the database, rather than being copied and pasted. This allows for updates to take place on a component level from a single point and the data will be instantly updated throughout all reference points. This method can keep on scaling, all while keeping your components linked.
What does this look like in real life?
Imagine that a customer places an order with you, let's call her Sarah Smith. The order comes in through sales, who collect all her details. This information then gets passed onto accounts that need to make sure the correct amount gets paid. The collected information will also need to go to your distribution chain, who will make sure the items get delivered to the right customer.
If all of these departments use a different system to store and manage their data, one order could mean a manual entry for each department. This process will waste a lot of valuable time. In the event that Sarah phones during the manufacturing process to update her address, each department will have to make changes once again, wasting even more time. This also leaves room for countless mistakes or accidental duplicate entries.
If all of the data is referenced from a single location (a database), these updates can be made quickly and by one person, saving your business time.
More benefits of a database as a single source of truth
The benefits include:
Collaboratively edit from one single source. Say goodbye to pdfs and email chains. You can finally stop looking for that specific file you need to share with yet another team member.
No more duplicate entries. An update to a single source file will make updates to any of the reused components. Communication within your company will improve as everyone will have access to up-to-date data, all the time.
Reduce search time.
Publish immediately: new entries and updates will be available instantly.
Decision-makers will have access to the right data at the right time.
Employees will have 24-hour access to live updates on any online device, making them more accountable.
Reduce human error and become more data-driven. Have more control over mishaps within your system and be more effective at detecting and stopping problems before they happen.
Eliminate discrepancies in data, therefore eliminating uncertainty.
Increase proficiency and delivery times, resulting in happier customers
How My Data Grows can be a single source of truth
How do you find a single source of truth if you don't have the time or budget for an entire development team?
DataGrows allows you to set up a database in a quick, easy and cost-effective way. This will allow you to unify your data on a single platform, establishing your single source of truth.
Dynamic data: bring your data to life. An online database like DataGrows will allow employees and customers to update their data online anytime, anywhere.
Access control: control who has permission to see and update different processes.
Connect relevant data points: like in the real world, data is connected. DataGrows allows you to connect relevant points such as orders to a particular customer.
DataGrows will enable you to build a single source of truth that is perfectly suited to your specific needs. This will allow you to manage your data and drive business decisions based on complete, accurate datasets, helping you to unlock your company’s true potential.
If your business needs a solution like ours, but you need help setting it up, reach out to a friendly staff member that will assist you in starting your data journey with DataGrows.