Data is the new oil! But truly data-driven cultures require an overarching data culture that encompasses a few fundamental elements, such as high-quality data, broad access and data literacy as well as appropriate data-driven decision-making processes.
A single source of truth
A single source of truth is a central, controlled and blessed source of data from which the whole company can draw. It is the master data. When you don’t have such data and staff can pull down seemingly the same metrics from different systems, inevitably those systems will produce different numbers. Then the arguments ensue. Or (and more dangerous for the business), some teams may unknowingly use stale, low-quality or otherwise incorrect data or metrics and make bad decisions, when they could have used a better source.
A single source of truth, that is hopefully refreshed in real-time (if possible) will provide superior service to the end users as well as decision makers.
In large organizations, there are often historical reasons why data are siloed. For example, large organizations are more likely to acquire data systems through company acquisitions, thereby resulting in additional independent systems. Thus, a single source of truth can represent a large and complex investment. But in the interim, a central data team or office can still make a big difference by providing official guideposts: listing what’s available, where it is and where there are multiple sources, the best place to get it.
Let me know what you think!
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My name's phil mora and I blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech and anything holistic.
Head of Digital Product
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