Businesses are increasingly looking to automate operations and establish efficient systems for serving clients. When we think of how businesses operate in 2023, there are copious amounts of data available, aiming at ensuring businesses function successfully day to day. To be truly efficient and make informed decisions, companies must consider the role of their data, how it's stored, how it’s managed and whether it can be trusted.
Every business has a different approach when it comes to data. Data storage for most has developed over time as new SaaS platforms have been implemented to automate tasks. This can be challenging for businesses for many reasons, particularly for long term planning and short-term data usability. Should data exist in silos, an organisation does not know if their staff are operating with the same data or not, and the leadership team will lack confidence in their data hygiene. To overcome this problem, firms require a ‘single source of truth’ (SSOT) framework.
What is the SSOT model?
The industry regularly refers to SSOT when it comes to business operations and data. When industry professionals use the term, they are referring to the practice of aggregating data from many different systems within a company’s IT framework to a single location. This is critical for businesses as it ensures that they run on a standardised system of data that is relevant and correct. Should businesses operate in a way whereby their data exists in silos, each department may operate independently, running the risk of catastrophic errors for decision making, transparency and reporting.
When you are considering setting up your SSOT, data validation is key. It is important to consider how accurate and authentic the data is and the monitoring of it. An essential part of any SSOT strategy is to check the data is right by verifying it and reconciling it.
Why the SSOT business model is gaining pace
According to Business Insider, "70% of CFOs agree that their teams need to more effectively leverage operational data to extract business insights."
Harvard Business Review shared an article detailing that ‘Single Source of Truth belongs at the heart of a midsize finances strategy’. This piece details that CFOs at midsize companies are under immense pressure from regulating bodies to adhere to compliance requirements and financial reporting standards. Such obligations require the capacity to be able to oversee complex planning and budgeting needs, manage cash flow and make informed decisions. Too many companies are grappling with data-related issues due to input at multiple sources, inputting using different fields and techniques by poorly trained staff, poor data accessibility, low data accuracy and a lack of collaboration between teams.
Companies that do not embrace a SSOT model and retain legacy technology often find it difficult to build the transparency and trust required to make informed decisions about data. This is especially true for companies seeking to implement effective ESG strategies.
Leaving data in silos, whether from bespoke software models or SaaS platforms can cause a lack of trust. One small error at the beginning of a data journey can exacerbate a problem with final reporting in the finance sector more than any other. Effective consolidation and monitoring of all data from all sources and partners is essential in today’s marketplace.
What are the benefits of using the SSOT model?
Developing a robust data strategy that runs on a SSOT model ensures that businesses can:
-Avoid duplicate entries of data, ensuring it is sorted and stored correctly, retaining cleanliness.
-Significantly reduce the amount of time spent on verifying which data that has been recorded is correct
-Provide decision makers with the correct data at any given time
-Improve the data intelligence capabilities of a company
-Promote the security of data, keeping it safe and having a robust cybersecurity strategy developed to protect it
-Clear governance and risk guidelines concerning usability and which stakeholders have layered access to the data at any given time
At Synetec, we are proud to be a team who each has their own varying technical domain expertise. We work with our clients to help implement data strategies that are built on the SSOT model. By doing so, we ensure our clients can achieve the benefits of their systems, as well as preparing them for future success with strong data foundations.
With the right support available to you at Synetec, use of third-party platforms (such as Power Platform, SharePoint, and Office 365), can provide a solution that is both reasonable from a time and cost perspective.
George Toursoulopoulos is a partner at Synetec and considered a Senior expert in UK technology. You can contact him on: https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgetoursoulopoulos/:
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