Do you have any idea what the cost of compromised data quality is for an organisation? A Gartner study reveals that most organisations have no clue. Maybe they haven’t thought about it yet. But it’s about time they do because people data is no longer something that is simply recorded and filed away, it is a valuable asset that enables an organisation’s reporting and analytics abilities to drive better decision making. In this digital age, every organisation should be aware of how valuable their people data is and should have a clear strategy for how to manage, cleanse and store this information.
Knowledge is power; and for organisations, so much knowledge – about its people and customers – lies in its data. So you can say, that in some ways, data is power. And, in order to maximise the business value of this information, it is critical to preserve high quality data. A recent Gartner study emphasises on this data quality coefficient, stating that “Quality governs how much actual value you can capture from the potential value of your information”.
Most organisations use their people data for:
a) Managing day to day HR operations; and
b) Improving or advancing the use of people data to drive value that is relevant to the business.
For both these purposes, reliance on data quality being high is pertinent. For instance, maintaining just enough people data in all systems like ERP, CRM, Cloud, BI, data warehousing solutions might function well on a day-to-day basis. But all of this data needs to be centralised, economised and made reportable so that the impacts of having such valuable data can be assessed. I will discuss the benefits of high data quality by providing you with two examples.
My first example: Organisations can use what they know about their employees to build a tool or system that everyone can use. This can be a useful way to share information that makes it easier for employees to tap into the right skill set and experience across the company. If my corporate email exchange server tells me about your expertise, latest projects and areas of interest, then I already know you better than where I started, and can connect with you on potential opportunities that may interest you! Such collaboration can help people connect faster and better.
My second example: Data lies at the heart of analytical advancements. The competitive edge to be gained from realising and exploiting the value of good quality data is not limited to consolidation/single source benefits. Having good quality people data can also drive real strategic benefits – as the enabler of improved HR analytics. By using reliable data to analyse if there is a pattern to when most people take sick leave (on a Monday, Friday or around half term breaks), the impact of such events can be assessed. The result: the introduction of a flexible working policy to curtail such occurrences. But this analysis is only possible when the people data available at hand has been carefully collected, maintained and used in the right way.
To conclude, the maintenance of high quality people data should not simply be seen as an overhead, but as a lever for real organisational value - if properly used.
Data has resurfaced back with far-reaching gains. Are you prepared to embrace it?