Data Management is a Business Process

I’ve been in and around the data space for over 15 years now, first with Hyperion Software helping finance departments consolidate their financial data. Hyperion understood that Consolidation was a process, not just a set of numbers. We needed to do currency conversions, inter-company eliminations, etc. to deliver a set of financials that could pass regulatory scrutiny.

Since then, the data world, from a tools perspective, hasn’t changed much. Most data tools are meant to enhance manual efforts to move or transform data. What’s wrong with this picture? At it’s most fundamental, most people look at data for data’s sake. We look at it in context of the business process it supports, which makes it in and of itself a business process.

Consider this; the “order to cash” process exists for every company. You must take orders, ship product and collect cash. For some, this is very simple, for others, especially those who do business through channels, it can be very complicated. In one example, we have a company where over 50 systems are involved in the process. Over the years, they have made many attempts to improve the process but process re-engineering is hit or miss without “information  re-engineering”.

It comes down to understanding the data and how it supports each system. Is it consistent? Accurate? Does it represent the current truth or some past truth? How do you monitor and remediate issues raised by the business? At the end of the day if the process of delivering the data to the business process isn’t managed you’ll sub-optimize the efficiency of the business process.

To see our take on how you can address this with data governance, click through the presentation below:

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