A study conducted by SnapLogic claims that organizations in the UK and the US are losing $140 billion every year due to disconnected data. A lot of data is trapped in legacy systems that can’t connect to the cloud. Employees lack knowledge about data kept with other departments leading to poor collaboration, flawed decision-making and low productivity.
There are many instances where employees are unaware of the number of data sources and are oblivious to which data is located where. Disconnected data is also created because of human reluctance to adopt new technology. Application overload where multiple systems and applications are used also generate utterly disconnected set of data.
Whatever be the cause of disconnected data it is hurting your business in the following ways.
1. Financial loss
Financial loss is caused due to missed opportunities and unproductive workforce despite the availability of tremendous amount of data with the organization. Businesses fail to use disconnected data for making strategic decisions. Moreover, scattered data escalates organizational struggle to maintain steady cash flow and margins.
Apart from that, there are costs associated with maintenance, software license fees, and support of multiple applications and systems when you operate with disconnected data. The entire workflow is in doldrums when one application or system breaks down and the data stored with the corresponding systems become inaccessible.
2. Data analysis becomes a challenge
Disconnected data increases the pain of analysts to gain accurate long-term and meaningful insights. It presents monumental barriers to IT decision makers who are unable to analyze data originating from multiple sources including multiple departments, global offices, and disparate IT systems. With limited data, you’re unable to analyze specific sales trends, business functions or pinpoint ideal buyers based on business size.
3. Lack of innovation and high risk
A stagnant business starts staling so it must innovate to survive. Without innovation, it is difficult to attain the competitive edge and generate long-term growth. However, many businesses fail to innovate because they are unable to identify new opportunities due to disconnected data.
On the other hand, organizations with integrated data are in a better position to evolve and launch new products and services. Moreover, risk exposure to such organizations can be significantly minimized because they are prepared to deal with market uncertainties.
4. Poor customer engagement
Customer data is generated through multiple channels of communication including marketing, sales, calls, emails, feedback forms, social media etc. Customer engagement does not rise beyond a certain level if data is disconnected (including the data about customer behavior and sentiment).
For example, to facilitate personalized interactions and inform customer conversations, businesses must have the complete data under one system. Only then can they reduce response time to customer requests, improve customer retention and improve customer satisfaction.
5. Weak collaboration
Collaboration at any business level can only happen if there is a free flow of data across all levels of the company. Ideal collaboration encourages universal data access by authorized employees. However, when data is scattered across different systems and applications, data analysis collaboration becomes a challenge.
Data analysis collaboration occurs when experts in different fields give their inputs, collaborate with suppliers, partners, and customers on shared data insights based on all-inclusive data. Data collaboration further allows businesses to scale.Thus, with better and more data, collaborative decision making improves.
6. Decision-making is delayed and flawed
A business, which is not obsessed with data, runs the risk of lagging behind their rivals. Insufficient data at hand leads to bad data analysis which in turn alleviates the quality of business decisions. For authentic and timely business decisions, it is necessary that the right data is available at the right time.
Disconnected data delays the decision making process because it takes a lot of time to bring data to a single platform. And even if you manage to manually collect data from all sources to analyze, the timeliness of data may be lost especially where real-time decision making is required.
7. Reduced employee productivity
Disconnected data demotivates employees because they spend more time in searching and verifying data before they can respond to customers. Employees are unnecessarily engaged in data entry, duplicating data, and performing repetitive tasks. It further results in data overlapping thereby deteriorating the quality of data.
The role of employees within the organization is rapidly evolving due to changing technology and it certainly does not involve manual data collection. Data integration is best left with advanced integration tools whereas employees are better off performing productive tasks that add value to the organization.
8. Low business output
The productivity of today’s data-dependent organization largely depends on how easily the data is accessible. With disconnected data productivity of employees undoubtedly reduces leaving you with poor sales and unhappy customers. With reduced order serving capacity your business goes on a downward spiral due to increasing cost.
To improve business efficiency across all spectrums of the organization you need to encourage data integration and data availability. Connected data brings transparency across the organization leading to jump in operational efficiency. For instance, with readily available inventory data, sales and marketing teams can perform much better and close more deals.
9. Formation of data silos
With big data and IoT rapidly influencing organizational workspace, there is bound to be an overwhelming amount of data everywhere. Disconnected data, especially in big data era, creates data silos which balloon over time. Managing data silos are a major challenge for modern organizations.
The problem exacerbates when you have to integrate a large amount of structured and unstructured data along with tedious data silos. Therefore, organizations need to adopt a data-driven approach where they strive to consolidate data to serve various purposes like omnichannel marketing with consistent messaging across different channels.
10. Inability to provide insights to stakeholders
Stakeholder comprises of any group or individuals like chartered accountants, creditors, consultants, directors, shareholders, and investors who are interested to keep a track of business activities, projects or monitor the financial health of the organization. Disconnected data makes reporting to stakeholders an agonizing task.
Reports are likely to include both qualitative and quantitative data. Customer feedback on blogs, social media, employee feedback forms etc provide significant qualitative insights. On the contrary, data presented in tables, charts, and graphs is a source of quantitative insight. Data integration must take account of both these aspects.
Connect your data to reap untapped potential
Connecting disconnected data helps you to mitigate risks and improve business productivity. Employees can be more productive and stakeholders can collaborate efficiently. Data analysis improves and decision making across the organization becomes accurate. It becomes easier to engage with customers and check the formation of data silos.
Now, you can easily integrate your line of Business Applications viz. ERP, CRM, Ecommerce stores, Marketplaces, Shipping and POS Systems under one platform to automate the business process!