Smart data management

The need for a centralised enterprise data management solution is being driven by every organisation gathering increasing amounts of data at an accelerated pace. Data analysts can only do their work if they have access to consistent, accurate and timely data. Manually extracting data from multiple sources, especially where these include spreadsheets, is not only slow and labour-intensive; it can also result in wildly differing conclusions.

In this blog Peter Luke describes how Illumar’s Housing Data Enterprise offers extensive tools for data preparation and cleansing without the user having to rely on intervention from specialists or their IT department. It enables the restructuring, reformatting and filling in of missing or incomplete data. It does so using automated processes, removing the need for manual repetition and intervention, while also ensuring that data is up-to-date.

HOUSING DATA ENTERPRISE

ENTERPRISE DATA MANAGEMENT

As organisations evolve, it becomes ever clearer that there is huge potential to create value from existing data. Yet mere ownership of this data is not enough. Business users require fast and flexible ways to access, organise, analyse and visualise this data so that they can understand its value and benefit from it by making swift, game-changing decisions.

Smart data management is key for business success but, for this to happen, data management needs to become a business-wide concern, not just something passed over to the IT department.

THE STRUGGLE TO UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL OF DATA

A survey by Harvard Business Review found that 62% of data analysts rely on other parts of their organisation for critical data.(1)  Only 19% were satisfied with the speed at which this was delivered, while a massive 69% doubted the quality of the results presented to them.

Further to this, a McKinsey survey highlights how much room for improvement there is, with 86% of executives stating that their own organisations have only been ‘somewhat effective’ at achieving their data and analytics programme prime objectives, while a quarter of them say they are currently ‘ineffective’.(2)

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC)’s 2017 ‘Advanced spreadsheet’ users survey, 95% of people preparing data for visualisation will fail to get the relevant information from their existing BI visualisation tools, forcing them to seek clarification from spreadsheets.(3)

SMART DATA MANAGEMENT

Breaking the cycle of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ Decisions can only ever be as good as the data they are sourced from, and most organisations rely on BI and data visualisation tools to give them the insights they need. While many of these tools include a level of data preparation functionality, this often isn’t robust enough for complex functions.

When data needs to be extracted from multiple sources and differing formats before being combined, high levels of data governance are required in order to prevent a ‘garbage in, garbage out’ situation. Without reliable data preparation, a business cannot be confident in the validity of its data.

What analysts need is a way to provide speed and accuracy through automation in the data preparation process, so that they can present accurate and easy-to-understand visualisations, based on trusted data, in the required critical time frame. It’s not hard to find reasons for this state of affairs. Disparate legacy systems, a lack of joined-up thinking and incomplete or duplicated data that’s “siloed” in numerous departments are all unfortunate by-products of fast-changing organisations.

The problem is, any one of these forms a block to data analytics and business insight. The starting point for unlocking the potential of business data is taking an organisation-wide approach to data management. Only when that is in place can swift analysis, derived from comprehensive, dependable data begin.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH DATA PREPARATION

The need for a centralised enterprise data management solution is being driven by every organisation gathering increasing amounts of data at an accelerated pace. Data analysts can only do their work if they have access to consistent, accurate and timely data.

Manually extracting data from multiple sources, especially where these include spreadsheets, is not only slow and labour-intensive; it can also result in wildly differing conclusions.

In order to create visualisations that can quickly present the case for business decisions, data needs to be prepared once, in the right way and from a reliable and verified source. With Housing Data Enterprise, these functions are automated, potentially saving thousands of hours of manual reformatting or re-entry using BI and visualisation tools. Housing Data Enterprise from Illumar  allows users to prepare, blend and shape data easily, outputting it to existing BI or data visualisation tools.

HOUSING DATA ENTERPRISE HAS THE POWER TO:

• Join data – from multiple sources, including Excel and data warehouses

• Clean data – with tools that automatically de-duplicate, parse and eliminate extraneous data

• Prepare data – for specific purposes, such as for predictive models or rich data visualisations

• Reshape data – so that it is easily consumed by downstream data visualisation tools

• Transform data – cleaning, calculating, joining and preparing data

SPEND TIME VISUALISING DATA, NOT PREPARING IT

Creating visualisations is a large part of data analysis and is set to become more important. Yet the more time spent preparing data, the less time left to create the visualisations themselves. When the end goal is to create visualisations that give business users the ability to spot weaknesses, highlight strengths and pinpoint emerging trends before such insights becomes out-of-date, time becomes a critical factor.

Preparing data in Housing Data Enterprise takes just minutes, not the days or weeks required to do the same job manually within Excel and other less sophisticated systems and tools. Housing Data Enterprise allows different users across the business to use the BI or visualisation tool of their choice, based on their specific needs, safe in the knowledge that all users are working from the same single source of trusted data. Visualisations can be swiftly created within any BI or data visualisation tool, including Power BI, Tableau or Qlik.

THE BENEFITS OF HOUSING DATA ENTERPRISE

Housing Data Enterprise offers extensive tools for data preparation and cleansing without the user having to rely on intervention from specialists or their IT department. It enables the restructuring, reformatting and filling in of missing or incomplete data. It does so using automated processes, removing the need for manual repetition and intervention, while also ensuring that data is up-to-date. This is vital as business data isn’t something static that can be filed away. As soon as it changes, insights go stale, reports become outdated and once-timely advice becomes yesterday’s news.

HOUSING DATA ENTERPRISE IS:

Fast – delivering accurate, consistent and timely data

Easy to use – performing the full spectrum of data preparation on a single platform

Flexible – creating sophisticated processes and outputs, regardless of the data size, source or format

Scalable – incorporating any new data source, in any format, with seamless migration and without any downtime or downstream reporting requirements

HOUSING DATA ENTERPRISE ASSISTS TIME-PRESSED DATA ANALYSTS BY:

Automating data preparation – preventing reporting bottlenecks and latency

Sharing analytic development – keeping departments and different locations in the loop, easily and securely

Supporting data visualisation – via Tableau, Power BI, Qlik and many others

Housing Data Enterprise is the answer to automated data preparation, feeding the leading BI and data visualisation tools with quality, accurate, consistent and timely data from a centralised, trusted source.

(1) Harvard Business Review: The Untapped Power of Self-Service Data Analytics – 2016 – Matthew Madden
(2) The Need to Lead in Data and Analytics – 2016 – McKinsey
(3) IDC Advanced Spreadsheet Users Survey in Europe – 2017 – Alteryx

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