THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURATE DATA

The purpose of any ERP system is collecting data to enable the management of a company to make timeous and informed decisions. It is crucial that this data must be accurate to make good decisions.

Defining accurate data, we need to look at the 2 words separately. “Data” being a collection of numbers, facts, measurements, and observations that has been converted into a format that is processible by a computer. By looking at the second word, for data to be “accurate” it must meet 2 requirements: form and consistency.

Let us consider having inventory codes in your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system with it being different lengths, different data types and a structure that is non-sensible. Just imagine what a mess your whole ERP solution could be just because of an erroneous inventory code format. The consequences could be using the incorrect codes when transacting, issues with stock accuracy during stock counts and the inability to report in a useful manner. Vizi Solutions enforce a proper inventory code structure, by having workshops with your item master custodian and other stakeholders, at the start of a new ERP implementation. With our vast experience, we are able to advise on best practice from a user and technical perspective.

Data inconsistency is in strong correlation with the form of the data. Let us look at a quick explanation. Sometimes having the same customer, multiple times in the ERP system is possible. For example, customer code AMA001 saved as Amazon and AMZ001 saved as Amazon. How would you know which one to use? When values for the same data point are inconsistent, it prevents analysts/consultants (Vizi Solutions) from grouping and sorting data. Data analysis involves aggregation. Therefore, consistent values are needed to enable accurate data use. Vizi Solutions’ consultants could help you in various ways around a problem like this, depending on what your requirements, as the reader, are.

Accurate data could have a lot of benefits such as:

  • Improved decision making by management: Accurate data will remove indecision, one of the major stumbling blocks, from the big picture. Improved decision making equals greater revenue.
  • Save time: Properly managed data should require less time and money to maintain.
  • Increased productivity: Accurate data is directly related to productivity of employees. Instead of wasting time on fixing data errors, employees can shift their focus on important tasks and goals.
  • Aids in compliance: Regulations and laws keep evolving and your business needs to evolve with them. Keeping your data up to date will prevent you from paying fines, especially with the POPIA being one of the main topics in some discussions regarding data.

As the list above shows, data accuracy is fundamental for many common business analytics. Data needs to be a correct representation of reality. The old principle, “garbage in garbage out”, illustrates that accurate data is a prerequisite for business analyses.

Data accuracy takes on even more importance when it comes to businesses pursuing strategies using AI (Artificial Intelligence). AI uses data to make predictions and improve itself by repetitious refining. AI needs very little human intervention, and it therefore underlines the importance of accurate data. Inaccurate data could flaw the predictions made by an AI bot.

Building trust in data, requires a business-wide commitment to seeing data as big importance and managing it daily. Vizi Solutions is aiming for big “bytes” to get you, as a data consumer, to embrace a good data-culture. Rather be prepared for 4IR than having tremendous problems when it comes to deploying it in your business.

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