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Big Data 2nd August 2016 - 3 min read

How can one platform benefit companies using disparate systems and data sources?

By Bart Badzioch

Yet even now we’re well into the second decade of the 21st century, and platforms have been around for decades, nearly all companies have problems with their IT infrastructure, and the pain of fragmented IT systems and vital data sat in silos.

There are many reasons why this can happen. It could be down to organisational structure, with each department, from HR to procurement to marketing, implementing its own platforms and technologies. Or it could be lack of system consolidation systems following M&A – or multiple M&As. Add to this the perennial issue of ageing systems, and the problems aren’t such a surprise after all.

It’s stating the obvious to say that every company needs a reliable solution that can bring all their information sources and data together. It sounds relatively simple too. But as anyone reading this will know only too well, achieving that single source of truth is an incredibly tough task.

Let’s take an example; the global corporation has undertaken multiple acquisitions.

This is of course, great news for the business – and for shareholders no doubt. From a data access perspective however, it’s a potential nightmare.

With each acquisition comes an additional IT system containing huge volumes of data that cannot be accessed, some of which the acquired company may not even know exists, let alone the acquiring corporation. There are in fact examples of companies being unable to access up to $25m of their spend, let alone being able to use it for reporting or other purposes.

And within almost any company, each system is likely to hold data containing different fields, formats, currencies, etc, and departmental solutions that do not talk to each other. Other systems will be old and produce information in formats that may now be obsolete.

A single platform that could pull together information from every area of the business would be hugely beneficial to any company.

There is a solution. Data analytics can provide that single platform and one reporting tool, with its ability to aggregate data from all sources and potentially in any format to help companies monitor all  its policies and processes, for a more cohesive approach, as well as minimising the likelihood of data being lost, stolen or misdirected.

The possibilities data analytics provides are far reaching and have the ability to transform any company. From reducing operational costs and time to market, improving customer service, generating more business, accelerating their supply chain and onboarding trading partners, the possibilities are endless.

A single platform would also be able to collect data such as population, weather, average salaries in the region, available universities and many more. This information then could be used to plan the development of a company by looking at factors such as how much it would  cost to hire people or whether there were enough qualified people in the region. For retail, weather could be used as one of the factors for sales predictions.These are just the few of multiple examples of how this can be utilised. By adding these different streams into  data models, one platform could easily double or even triple its power to predict, answer questions, and help make decisions.

And it is already happening. At Pi for example, our Self-Learning Automatic Trip Engine (SLATE), is a complete cost-analysis tool that interrogates data feeds and consolidates transactions from multiple data sources and sorts them by individual business trip. SLATE also uses machine learning technology to match incomplete data (e.g. missing/dummy Employee ID), prevent duplicates and resolve inconsistencies to calculate the total cost of each individual trip.

In other words, we are helping them obtain their single source of truth. Why not contact Pi and see how you can find yours?

Bart Badzioch
By Bart Badzioch
3 min read

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