How to get the most from your data

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The Oxford Dictionary defines logistics as the ‘detailed organisation and implementation of a complex operation’. Originally the term was used as a description of moving goods, but in the information age it’s one frequently applied to data.

It’s easiest to envisage this process as one of the movement of physical products. Think of how your groceries reach you – if we were to review the mechanisms for making this happen, as a layperson we could recognise the under-usage of resources or pressure points in traffic, such as caused by an empty warehouse space or a container missing its allocated shipping time.

Data distribution

In essence, data management is simply digital logistics, and as with consumer goods, there are similar hurdles for digital administrators to overcome. For instance, there are different programming languages and typographic scripts to contend with, as well as security requirements and data fields to migrate information from and to. And risks from these points along the ‘supply chain’ are magnified every time human intervention occurs.

There are various methods for integrating unaligned systems, such as those within an organisation. Although they all differ in structure, the term enterprise application integration (EAI) is commonly used to describe them.

According to Gartner, EAI equates to the "unrestricted sharing of data and business processes among any connected application or data sources in the enterprise."

In other words, EAI is like a control hub, akin to a switchboard, linking together your organisation’s various subsystems (such as your sales and finance software with your marketing data) in order to make sharing information between them as simple as possible. A well-designed and implemented EAI can also help to automate business processes (like triggering the sending of payments or invoices) while at the same time avoiding making sweeping changes to your company’s existing systems.

As with any logistics system, investing in solid data management can drive down costs and increase revenue by making your business more efficient. It can also ensure vital compliancy, increase reliability and, by reducing the amount of administration required to get things done, free your workforce up to concentrate on their core duties.

Free your workforce – three reasons to invest in data management:

  1. Cut the red tape — By designing a system that joins up your organisation, you reduce bureaucracy and get more people doing more of what they’re good at.
  2. Stay clean and secure — The more your data is handled, the more it’s likely to get dirty. Keep your data clean by automating as much of its handling as possible and storing it centrally with appropriate backup and security.
  3. Get a clear view — Another benefit to storing your data centrally is it makes it easier to analyse. Rather than having information come in piecemeal from across your business you can look at what’s happening holistically.

If you're embarking on Cloud-based data storage or simply reviewing your data logistics an Exonera Review will help you define what steps you need to take for a smooth transition.