What is the Single Source of Truth? The Search for Accurate Analytics

What is the Single Source of Truth? The Search for Accurate Analytics

Four teams enter a room equipped with four separate data sets. Each one argues the case for addressing their company’s strengths and weaknesses, according to the numbers – only to find that their viewpoints are as varied as their data. Who’s right?

The effects of siloed data are obvious – time, effort and resources wasted as employees work with incomplete, often conflicting information. Streamlining your company’s goals and processes requires developing a “single source of truth” model that makes data consistent and accessible across your organization.

What is a single source of truth?

If every team in your organization is working off its own internal data, they aren’t seeing the bigger picture. Data may be useless without the proper context or rendered obsolete by more precise or up-to-date numbers. Access may be limited to one department or only a handful of users, rendering other stakeholders incapable of adding or changing relevant information. Business intelligence might be updated across some systems but not others or take months to sync into every tool.

A “single source of truth” solves these issues by integrating data from multiple internal and external sources into one unified system. Everyone in the organization has access to the data and can update or clean it, analyze it with data visualization tools, and use it to collaborate on critical business decisions. All changes are synced in virtually real time.

In this case, “truth” is somewhat subjective. Stakeholders must agree on which metrics from which sources are “true,” and which will be used to monitor performance and make decisions. This also means agreeing on the definition and context of each metric. There is no such thing as perfect data – choose data that provides a baseline and can be improved over time instead of waiting for the ideal numbers.

Why implement a single source of truth?

A single version of data connects every department and each step of your processes. Users who work off incomplete or inconsistent data tend to distrust the data, which makes them less likely to take decisive action based on their findings. Even high-level decision makers, such as executives, may disagree on their company’s challenges and priorities. The result is a lack of unification in addressing key initiatives.

A 2018 study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by SAP, based on a survey of 485 analytics and BI decision-makers worldwide, found that 92 percent of companies with mature data and analytics practices saw revenue growth of 15 percent or more over the past three years. The bottom line? Investing in more powerful and accessible analytics tools is crucial to making genuinely data-driven decisions and unifying your organization’s goals.

How can Saberpoint help?

Saberpoint offers powerful analytics and business intelligence tools that help you eliminate guesswork, make better decisions, transform data into actionable insights, and access metrics reports anytime, anywhere. We understand your business needs and can transform your siloed data into a comprehensive, easy-to-use platform to improve efficiency, drive revenue and forecast future results for your business.