Data-driven decision making requires comprehensive data integration
In today’s world, there certainly isn’t a lack of data. It’s what you do with your data that can make a significant impact on your bottom line.
Sales data, operational data, financial data – your data likely comes from many sources. The true value lies in how you bring it together for data-driven decision making based on complete, accurate and up-to-date data sets. This process of combining data from different sources into a single, unified view is called data integration.
It’s all about data integration
The first challenge when turning raw data into actionable insights lies in collecting all available data from across your enterprise and turning it into a digestible format. Depending on the size of the data and the use case it can be possible to feed it directly into a BI system. However, this is less practical when dealing with large or complex data.
In those cases, the data is first moved into an intermediary area, for example a data warehouse like Snowflake, Databricks or Google Cloud. From there it is fed into a BI platform, such as Qlik, where it can be analysed and used to form relevant insights.
While this still requires a big data dump when setting up your data infrastructure, later changes can be done in real-time using Change Data Capture (CDC). Rather than reloading the entirety of your data, only data that has been changed or added needs to be updated. CDC is a highly efficient way to move data across a wide area network. The best part is that it supports real-time analytics and data science, meaning all your business decisions are based on the most up-to-date information available.
Bringing data together
Data does not equal data. As mentioned earlier on, your data likely comes in different formats and from various sources. Before utilising it, you’ll need to feed it into a common system where your users can access it.
“Qlik as a company have realised early on that this process needs to be easy. But it also needs to be comprehensive and tailored around what users need. It doesn’t make sense for a company to select their business systems based on how compatible they are with their BI platform,” explains Andy Patrick, Managing Director here at Ometis.
“Instead, businesses should be able to work with the software and platforms that best meet their individual business needs. Data integration needs to be a given.”
Enter Qlik’s Connector Factory
Qlik has already created connectors for a wide variety of data sources, from SAP and Oracle to Salesforce, Google analytics and many more. They aren’t focusing on just the big names either. The Connector Factory’s mission is to pull and process data from any source that is commonly used or requested by their customers.
Qlik values customer feed-in for this, as it helps them optimise their offering and contribute to their customers’ success. If there is a data source that is essential to your operations, Qlik likely already has a connector for it. If they don’t, it is probably in the works.
Data-driven decision making improves your bottom line
Once you have all your data in one place, you can easily utilise it to predict spikes in demand and budget for parts ahead of time. You can use it to monitor changes in your supply chain and avoid late deliveries or overstocks. Data can track your environmental impact for compliance with regulations. It can help you identify which production processes need optimising to improve profit margins. In summary: it can easily and automatically give you the insights you need, when you need them.
Predictive analytics using AI and machine learning functions can even anticipate potential challenges before they arise. These are just a few examples of how analytics and data-driven decision making can add value to your operations. When done right, the sky is the limit for where data can take your business.