For big organizations to just function these days there are many business processes and software applications at work, all day and every day. With ERP software, workforce management software, other operational software and more running behind the scenes keeping your business on its toes, there’s a wealth of information being constantly passed around, accessed, and edited.
You imagine these processes like you would a maze for mice: There are four mice (dyed different colors) that have to get to the end of the maze for some cheese. The trick is; they all have to work together to find the cheese at the same time in order to access it (and eat it). But they have no way of communicating with each other about which passageways are dead-ends and which are open. They end up bumping heads, causing all sorts of confusion, and inevitably failing to acquire the end goal: the yummy cheese.
Sounds disastrous, right? It is! But this is how many organizations allow their processes to function.
Here are four ways big organizations track their applications’ data these days and, spoiler alert, they are all inefficient: Even though they may be integrated with each other, the data that is input, or changed, on a daily, hourly, and sometimes minute basis is not being followed, tracked, or recorded. The systems may be connected but the data itself is disconnected: What is known about in one system means nothing to another. Data is meaningless without interpretation and understanding.
1. They don’t record it at all!
Some businesses have not introduced any means of recording and tracking their data. What does this mean? Simple: operational inefficiencies are rife throughout the business. Ask yourself: what caused that last customer service issue and complaint? Why did you run out of stock of your most popular product? Without capturing the data, you cannot answer these questions.
2. They look in endless log files with limited information over many servers/hardware/folders!
This is almost as bad as not recording data at all. What is the point in purchasing expensive software to help your business run efficiently if when there is a problem or error, you are actually reducing efficiency by going on a never-ending chase for information? Your IT department probably spends hours scouring your databases to find and fix errors, correct wrongly entered data and trying to conduct some kind of root-cause analysis. But without structured data, their analyses are most likely incorrect or inconclusive.
3. They have legacy systems to track it!
You have to start somewhere! Businesses that use legacy systems to track their data are probably better off than those without anything, but now it’s like you’re wearing one shoe. That will only get you so far. Businesses need an up-to-date application that integrates with your current setup and consolidates all data into one meaningful repository.
4. They don’t audit data for future reference or when dealing with customer complaints
Many businesses can access their data but they don’t audit it to give them any useful insights. These businesses are missing a huge opportunity to help forecast future problems and concerns, improve processes, and help increase overall system efficiency.
If you can put your business into any of the four categories listed above, sadly, you are probably running around unable to find the cheese. Finding the right software auditing application for your business is a great investment. Not only will it increase efficiency and customer service performance, but it will also increase the ROI of your other major software investment.