Are You Neglecting Your Business’s Best Asset?

There’s a lot of hype around at the moment about data being “the new oil”, digital transformation and so forth. At ZAP we’re as tired of the cliches as anyone, which is why it’s slightly frustrating to have to preach that data really has become one of the most important assets in a company’s portfolio.

We’re not saying it’s more important than, say, food if you’re a restaurant chain or lorries if you’re into logistics. It will, however, help you deploy those assets. And yet people are neglecting it, largely because it’s become difficult to control and deploy. At least until now.


Has your data landscape become messy?

The uncomfortable fact is that nobody originally designed their business (perhaps decades ago) with data hygiene as a prime drivers. This has led to numerous difficulties as corporations have grown. Our own clients at ZAP have experienced countless difficulties as a result, including:

  • One IT Manager found that he had important pieces of data in an ERP implementation spread across two major systems from Microsoft, one of which had been modified numerous times. This was fine – until the person who made the enhancements left, that is, and the only means of extracting the data left it in a format comprehensible only to someone with an advanced understanding of Microsoft SQL.
  • Another client found their ERP did some excellent analysis on its own terms (and we are absolutely not advising anyone to try to bypass their ERP system, which is a vital component), but they found that the business professionals couldn’t get at the data when they needed it. The requirement to make it comprehensible and digestible to people outside the IT department became apparent very quickly.
  • A CTO opted to get his IT team to translate and represent data into a form the C-suite could understand. This was an excellent idea in principle, but it led to three difficulties: a) delays while the IT personnel formatted and interpreted the data, b) data would then end up in the IT people’s best guess as to what the business professionals would actually find useful, which was good but not always 100% accurate, and c) IT found their time drained by become report writers instead of the innovators they should have been. By any measure, this was not the optimal use of such a highly specialized human resource.

All of these people started with one thing in common: their data had grown in unexpected ways and moved across different systems, and it had become all but locked up and inaccessible.

The key in each case is data warehousing informed for business intelligence which, in plainer English, means taking the information from multiple sources and automatically putting it into a useful form that stakeholders can manipulate themselves to extract valuable, real-time insights.

By using a data warehouse plus a BI tool like ZAP Data Hub, your data can become a dynamic asset rather than an inert load of information just sitting there.

It can get to the right people at the right time and help you become a more sophisticated, better-informed business.

You’re going to pay to store your data anyway. Why not put it to work?

To learn more about how to make your data work best for you using data warehousing, click here to download our latest whitepaper.