It’s a familiar situation… You set up a quick meeting with your team to get the quarterly report ready. Once the meeting has started, you quickly realize that team members brought what was supposed to be the same data in different files. Some values just do not make sense and you must manually reconcile all data before you can proceed. The meeting that was meant to last an hour turns into a day.
If only there was a way to get one version of up-to-date information that is accessible to all your team members so you could collaborate and aggregate your knowledge. The answer is a single source of truth. Keep reading to learn more about what it is and how it helps improve your company’s performance.
What is a single source of truth?
A single source of truth (SSOT, or single point of truth—SPOT) is a state in which all company data can be found in a single unique reference point, e.g., a central platform. People from different departments of an organization can access this location to receive the same information.
What is the goal of a single source of truth?
A single source of truth obtains a universally valid version of all company data. All data that is incorrect, redundant, or a duplicate, needs to be excluded. This increases data quality as well as data credibility. To not only obtain a single source of truth, but also maintain it on a regular basis, the data must be updated consistently.
How do you make sure you have a single source of truth?
There are several ways to obtain a single source of truth. If previously all employees have stored their respective data on their own computers, you won’t achieve a single source of anything. If you opt for a cloud provider for common tools such as CRM, ERP, or EPM that stores all your data, the cloud provides you with aggregated access. However, the same data may not be linked across these enterprise applications or even worse, be stored in different disconnected Excel files or documents. Redundant data must be addressed somehow, and it eats valuable time and resources.
You can achieve a single source of truth by using the right software solutions and connectors. The initial setup can take some time, but the investment in modern data management returns much more than just your ROI. Easily integrate and sync your data from numerous sources with a modern software solution. Unnecessary data is eliminated automatically, and your single source of truth allows you to take advantage of the improved data processing.
Advantages of a single source of truth
The advantages of a single source of truth for all company data are obvious. When all data is stored in one central location with access across teams, all employees receive the same level of knowledge. No information can be withheld from anyone. That way, valuable information can be exchanged much faster and without major administrative effort.
Nevertheless, the term “truth” should not be taken literally. Wherever people enter data, errors can occur. However, with a single source of truth you do not have to search for the error by trying to match all data. With one unique reference point, you are closer to the truth. That simplifies troubleshooting significantly. In addition, this allows for debating the interpretation of the data and not debating the underlying data because everyone is using the same data source. This also improves collaboration and business processes.
The five benefits of a single source of truth at a glance:
- Make fact-based decisions
- Save time through higher productivity
- Increase efficiency
- Avoid rework
- Improve quality and data consistency
How modern Enterprise Performance Management supports a single source of truth
Jedox is a modern Enterprise Performance Management solution that breaks down data silos, making all organizational data easily accessible in one place. The data is stored in what is known as a data cube (also called an OLAP cube). An OLAP cube is a multidimensional data storage. This enables you to analyze the data from different perspectives. Each value stored in the cube is unique, so there can be no duplicate data. Using an Excel add-in, you continue to work in your familiar Excel environment.
If someone enters data that affects other values, all teams involved will see the changes immediately. This way, everyone sees the same updates and the same data in real time. With this, ad hoc reports can be created in no time. This is especially true if you need to create regular reports or update data regularly and want to automate this process. Modern data management depends on a single source of truth. Enterprise Performance Management software like Jedox automates maintaining a single source of truth and helps avoid manual work and free up valuable time and resources. That way, your staff can focus on value-added tasks, such as analyzing the data to gain insights and “what if” scenario planning.
When you work with any type of data, you rely on a single source of truth. The easiest way to get there is with the right software for your individual and organizational needs. All information is stored in one place that is accessible to all relevant stakeholders. With an aggregated view of your data, you collaborate more easily, create reports faster, and elevate your planning processes.
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