Corey thought his team had performed better than this.
According to a recent report requested by his manager, his team showed little signs of revenue growth, and that meant a virtual bashing in the forecasting report and from other departments. For Corey, the disappointing numbers of his team may not be due to performance but, rather, from the lack of relevant data to support its efforts.
This mistake is often the result of customers not recognizing the process that supports the system. It comes down to simplifying fields within a system. You can add as many fields as you’d like to collect data, but if nobody takes the time to input information into those fields, your reports will be incomplete–and, in Corey’s case, misleading.
The efficiency of data collection and data management is comprised of two factors: Understanding what data is essential, and creating a process that ensures information is entered in a centralized location.
Give it to me straight.
Talk to any manager of any department, and she will tell you her information is important to the company’s operations. Corey, for example, had so many fields that it was difficult to understand what was important and what was not. As a business leader, you need to ask yourself: what information is congruent with producing global forecasting of revenue and growth? And how can I streamline the process to make inputting data easy and the results readily available?
The most successful report systems are those that keep it simple. For example, if your department is rarely in the office, perhaps a SaaS system with cloud applications would provide an ideal way to input or access data.
Please step away from the other system.
Corey was thrilled to utilize the new capabilities of the company’s new custom IT system, and he used it for most tasks—except one. He preferred to create service quotes on a separate system. Bad move.
The moment you leave your centralized system to perform a task in another system, your system becomes outdated. Now, you have gaps in the life-cycle of a sale, quarterly team performance, or any follow-up information–and that equates to incomplete data.
“The single greatest benefit of centralizing an association’s data management is data integrity,” wrote the Effective Database Management team in the article, “Why Should You Have A Centralized System? “One of the cardinal rules of database design is that no redundancy is allowed. That is, no piece of data should ever be repeated within the database. When an organization is operating multiple databases for the same group of people (for example, a membership database with a separate meeting registration database), they are by definition breaking this rule. And this leads to major data integrity issues. A centralized database means that each member has one primary record, with primary contact information.”
The good news is that most custom systems, like Salesforce, for example, don’t require you to abandon the entire platform when you wish to enhance existing functions. We have access to CPQ tools to satisfy job demands, and we can find a way to customize your needs so you can stay with one system.
This quarter, Cory is making a commitment to streamline and centralize his data management. He’ll identify pertinent data that tracks business growth. Then, he’ll commit to a centralized system that meets the needs of his staff and produces an optimal return. No man should serve two systems. With the right platform, he won’t have to.