Responding to data problems reactively costs time and money. Of course, when something breaks, you’re going to fix it. But what if you could identify data challenges before they become problems for your business?
It’s not always easy to see a data issue until something catches on fire but there are signs you can look out for. By understanding your current data processes, you can diagnose and resolve issues at an earlier stage.
Here’s how to spot telling errors and fix them before they become costly problems.
Five signs that point to data challenges
1. You have no idea what’s going on in other departments, or you can’t access data from different areas of your business.
Departments will always work in their own little bubbles. But, having a silo mentality is detrimental to your organization’s goals.
You can’t fix what you don’t know. And you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Blindspots and silos often mean duplicated or conflicting work. And without company-wide data, any insights you gather are likely to be flawed and lead to potentially damaging decisions.
To break down data silos, there needs to be a cultural shift. This starts from the top. Your stakeholders will need to appreciate the damage that data silos can cause, and implement ways to improve the exchange of data through cross-team collaboration. When leadership appreciate the value of data, you can work to unravel interdepartmental politics and rivalries, encourage data sharing and implement a level of standardization.
2. You know there’s a process error, but you can’t effectively troubleshoot it.
Poorly-constructed, homegrown solutions to your data problems typically report meaningless errors. And trying to troubleshoot these errors can be a nightmare.
So what do you do if you discover a problem you can’t do much about? If it seems small enough maybe you ignore it and assume that it can’t make that much difference. However, doing this will quickly have a significant impact on data quality.
The solution is to put in place a system that empowers non-technical users to identify and resolve errors. With CloverDX, you can quickly and effectively troubleshoot errors and fix them with a more systemic approach. Once they’re fixed, they’re fixed forever.
3. You have too much reliance on one person’s knowledge/code
When there’s one data expert that you can’t manage without, one instance of sick leave could cause a significant problem for your business. 89 percent of IT professionals feel immense amounts of pressure at work, making the looming threat of that sick leave all the more acute.
Similarly, if you’re reliant on complex code that can’t be easily updated, ignoring the situation could prove costly down the line. You need to lay strong foundations that allow for scalable data solutions and easy management.
Using a product like CloverDX, you can create automated data processes that are easy to maintain. The visual interface allows you to share responsibility, even amongst people without coding skills. At the same time, you can dive into the code whenever you need, allowing complete customization.
4. Spreadsheet errors, duplicates or missing fields are a regular occurrence.
The odd error is unavoidable but when you’re dealing with a similar problem over and over, that’s a sign something isn’t as it should be.
This could be the result of human error, lack of standardization, or a lack of data validation. The more manual processes involved in the collection, formatting and integration of your data, the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong.
Left to their own devices, different people do things differently. It’d be a dull world if we all saw things the same way. When it comes to data though, the personal approach is a problem. It makes collaboration tough. Getting a clear, accurate overview is almost impossible.
You can reduce opportunity for anomalies by automating data preparation. Automation also allows you to standardize processes, implementing one easy way of doing things. Automate, train people in the new process and watch accuracy and efficiency skyrocket.
5. Business insights/reports take too long to produce and are causing stress.
If you’re spending too much time on report preparation, you’re not operating at maximum efficiency. You may even be putting unnecessary stress on individuals and teams. This problem might not blow up anytime soon but it could already be having a significant impact on business performance.
54 percent of employees believe they could save 240 hours a year through automation. Data saved in different formats and spread across multiple legacy systems takes far too much time to gather, analyze and process manually. With the right tools, you can do it all at the push of a button.
One of our customers had been creating regular reports for clients that were 99 percent the same every time. They had to pull the data from different places, making it a laborious task that caused stress and panic in the lead up to every deadline.
CloverDX allowed them to create a replicable workflow, turning the publishing of accurate reports into a quick, easy process.
Taking a proactive approach to data challenges
62 percent of business leaders admit that a lack of agility in data processes has hurt their response to changing business needs. However, 76 percent of key business decision makers aren’t confident in their data literacy skills.
The fact is, if you don’t know what data issue signals look like, they’ll keep flashing until disaster hits. We’ve highlighted a few, but the upskilling you need to take control of your data need not be arduous.
So get proactive. Begin creating a data orientated culture in your organization now, before data challenges ignite into costly, damaging business fires.