With organizational leaders having to make so many critical decisions daily, the pressure to make the best choice for their organizations is hard to ignore. While having a good amount of data certainly helps inform these decisions, leaders need to rely on tools that help them transform data into insights quickly and easily. Below we’ll cover three ways end-to-end enterprise data management (EDM) platforms can improve your decision-making process and make your life easier in the process.
Leaders are called decision-makers because they, unsurprisingly, have to make decisions for their organizations. A sound approach to decision-making is firstly (a) making sure we understand the problem well and secondly (b) making sure we have a good understanding of our options so we, decision-makers, can pick the right choice, maximizing the good and minimizing the bad. Sounds easy, right?
Increasingly for many, whether in the public or private sectors, this is far from being easy. Information is plentiful, but who should we listen to? How do I validate what I hear from one source and make sure it’s trustworthy? How can I trace back insights to their source? How can we analyze information of interest collaboratively as a team without putting confidential information at risk? Similarly, once I decide, how can I facilitate communication and ensure all parts of the organization move forward in unison? Those are just some of the questions faced by leaders processing information for strategic and operational decision-making.
How Can End-to-End Enterprise Data Management Platforms Improve Your Decisions?
Here are three ways End-to-End Enterprise Data Management platforms can help remove hurdles as you progress through your own digital transformation.
1) Data collected, stored, and analyzed for a purpose
Making sure we work with data is important but making sure data works for us is, I would argue, more important. Forrester reported that in 2020, about 41% of companies struggled to turn data into decisions, with many organizations fighting information overload. When systems are not end-to-end, it can be hard to keep track of true north and remind ourselves of why we are investing in such systems in the first place. One department or team is responsible for data collection, another for analysis… Next thing you know, the data collected is not aligned with the organization's business needs, and the dashboards and reports set up by the analytics team fail to deliver anything meaningful. By going end-to-end, we reduce the number of systems we work with and ensure our data efforts are purpose-driven from start to finish.
2) Double check and triple check with information fusion
Decision-makers have to work with imperfect information all the time. How imperfect is a question of their data sources. The more, the better. At AKTEK, we like to keep things simple, and we often talk about three (3) main buckets of information:
- Primary sources refer to new data that doesn’t exist anywhere else today. Whether it’s stored in people’s brains (e.g., stakeholder position towards a project) or yet to be observed (e.g., security incidents in remote areas), data collection systems can help streamline the way information is collected, enabling more users to contribute to the collective brain from wherever they are, thereby reducing the cost of data collection and facilitating critical refreshes.
- Secondary sources refer to internal data that already exists but is most often dormant, sitting inside organizational silos in other data ecosystems that can vary from the straightforward (Microsoft Excel) to the more complex (custom systems, enterprise ERP, ArcGIS databases, etc.). There’s inherent value in the data but making use of it is complex or costly. Here good end-to-end enterprise data management systems can help bring it to the fore, rendering it easier to access, manipulate and fuse with other data sources for decision-making support.
- Lastly, third-party sources refer to external data outside the organization (whether paid or free, open-source) on the web but with its own usability challenges. Think open government data, digital news reports, social media data, or even satellite imagery. These data sources can help bring a real-time attribute of contextual analysis and are usually cheaper than primary data collection.
Using all three can help ensure we approach problems from multiple angles and perspectives, helping us validate our problem analysis.
3) Decision-making is a team effort that needs a team solution
The RACI framework (Deloitte) talks about four groups of people surrounding any given decision. Who is Responsible (for executing the decision and putting it in practice), Accountable (in charge of making the decision), Consulted (in charge of advising and informing those accountable before a decision), and lastly Informed (groups affected by the decision that need to know about it).
Those are different stakeholders with different needs, contributing different inputs, and requiring different outputs at different times. Factoring all of these is much easier when we operate an end-to-end data management system that facilitates data workflows and handles complex business processes, enabling us to engage different stakeholders at different points in the chain, keep everything organized. Everyone was notified along the way of a clear audit trail.
Embedding more people across the organization into the decision-making process can help in many ways (by breaking down complexity collaboratively, brainstorming solutions from a broader perspective, and even empowering more efficient decisions directly on the frontlines by “democratizing access to advanced analytics”). That said, increasing the pool of contributors should not come at the expense of security. Not everyone needs the same level of access to add value, and a good end-to-end enterprise data management system should enable you to control who can see and do what every step of the way.
Get in touch with our team if you’re interested in learning more about how end-to-end enterprise data management can help you.