Data Is Driving Businesses Now

Most successful businesses don’t make critical decisions based on gut feelings or assumptions. They use data—a lot of it.

Data is the foundation of today’s businesses, impacting everything from operations to compliance. This makes the accuracy of that data a critical factor in a business’s success. 

Let’s take a closer look at the role of data accuracy in driving business outcomes, factors that negatively impact data quality, and how to achieve and maintain highly accurate data across your organization.

How Accurate Data Impacts Business Success

How important is accurate data to business success? Consider this scenario: You are the CFO of a large health insurance provider that relies on financial projections to set policy premiums. 

Inaccurate data in a critical spreadsheet introduces errors into the calculations, leading the company to set premiums lower than necessary. As a result, the company pays out more in claims than it brings in through premiums, causing significant financial and reputation harm to the business.

That’s a fairly simplistic example of how data accuracy can affect your business. In reality, the potential impact is much more complex and far-reaching.

Here are eight ways that data accuracy benefits many different elements of your business:

Informed decision making

Accurate analytics allows leadership to make informed decisions that could impact the overall financial health and strategic direction of the organization.

Operational efficiency

Accurate data helps businesses streamline operations by optimizing processes, identifying bottlenecks, and improving overall efficiency.

Risk management

Reliable data helps businesses proactively manage and minimize risks, including financial risk, unfavorable market trends, and compliance issues.

Cost reduction

Businesses leverage data to identify cost-saving opportunities, reduce waste, and ensure financial resources are allocated effectively.

Budgeting and forecasting

Finance teams need accurate data to create budgets and forecasts, set financial goals, and prioritize resources.

Compliance and governance

Businesses rely on accurate data to ensure they stay in compliance with legal requirements, industry standards, and internal governance policies.

Audit processes

Accurate financial data is crucial during external and internal audits to demonstrate compliance, transparency, and the integrity of the business’s financial operations.

Employee productivity

Accurate data provides relevant and reliable information that employees can use to work more efficiently and productively.

Common Challenges in Data Accuracy

Understanding why data accuracy matters is only one part of the equation. You also need to be able to recognize factors that may be sabotaging your organization’s data quality.

Some of the most common sources of data inaccuracies include:

  • Data silos and fragmentation

  • Data integration issues

  • Incomplete or outdated data

  • Lack of data governance

  • Poor data quality controls

  • Human error and misinterpretation

  • Data migration challenges

  • Lack of standardization

  • Legacy systems or outdated technology

  • Data complexity

Data Accuracy Best Practices

Once you have identified the source(s) of your data quality problems, you can take appropriate steps to remediate them by implementing a few data management best practices.

Automate data validation and verification.

Automating validation and verification helps identify and correct errors, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies in your organization’s data more quickly and reliably than doing it manually.

Establish data governance policies.

Data governance provides a structured framework that incorporates standards, documentation, validation, security measures, accountability, monitoring, and other elements that ensure data is accurate, reliable, and fit for its intended use.

Implement a master data management solution.

The right master data management (MDM) solution improves data accuracy by providing a centralized, consistent approach to managing data across the organization.

Key capabilities of an MDM solution include:

  • A centralized data repository

  • Data standardization

  • Hierarchy management

  • Data validation and enrichment

  • Audit trails and version control

How EPMware Can Help

Your business’s success depends on the accuracy of your data. EPMware can help ensure the data that is fueling your business intelligence and analytics is always accurate, consistent, and accessible.

EPMware combines metadata management and data governance capabilities in a single platform, helping even the most complex enterprises create a single source of truth for their data.

EPMware’s out-of-the-box plug-and-play adapters provide seamless integration with many ERP, EPM, and CPM solutions, including all OneStream, Oracle on-prem and cloud EPM, EBS, Fusion, and SAP applications.

Want to learn more about the importance of metadata management and data governance in today’s information-driven business environments? Check out this comprehensive enterprise metadata management resource.

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