Posted by: ahmedashfaque | June 21, 2014

Value of data and difficulty in getting data

Using various software tools and applications, organizations gather customer data, sales data, market segment data, forecast data and a lot of other useful data. However the problem faced by them is 2 fold:

1. How to get data from all these various sources fast

2. How to integrate data from all these sources so that meaningful analysis can be done

If the data is coming into a source (e.g. sales channels) directly from point of sales, then this data is available to managers fast enough and they can do their analysis fast. However in most cases, data is gathered at a source for some time, let is say for a day and then it is entered into some management information system (MIS) in the night using some batch input program. This is because the MIS system is not integrated with the point of sale system. So there is a problem here.

Again, at one point of time, a manager was able to get his/her data fast. But due to some merger/acquisition, he/she is not able to get the data fast enough as systems at the 2 places (the original company and the acquired company) are not integrated. This is a real problem faced by managers as the market places are becoming more and more globalized and dynamic. So integration of systems is an ongoing issue at most places.

Coming to the second point, integration of systems is not easy. In some cases, the integration does not happen in real time. The integration in these cases is performed using some technique where a collection program is run at fixed intervals to gather data in one system and then feed it into the other system. In many cases, integration is so difficult that the management finally decides to discard one system and move all the business to just one system to avoid messy integration problems.

The reality is that most organizations deal with getting data fast enough due to the problems mentioned above.



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