Data Double Talk – Lots of Data Doesn’t Mean Good Data

In an age where data analysis drives both business functions and decisions, there are three key questions your organization should ask:

  1. How accurately does our data reflect the organization?
  2. How consistent is data between data warehouses?
  3. Is our data both relevant and useful?

In a tech utopia, the optimal answer is that your organization possesses accurate, consistent, and relevant data. This is the real world though, and often we find this is not the answer. The primary reason? The number of data sources an organization maintains. As the number of different data repositories increase, the chance for data to be out of sync rises…a lot. If a sync issue occurs and is not found quickly, the time and effort to both discover and correct issues becomes an exponential challenge. This leads to (you guessed it!) inconsistent (and thus inaccurate) data which loses usefulness.

This is one of the many areas where Workday really shines. By having the ability to consolidate meaningful data into a single environment, Workday answers two of the above questions immediately and with little intervention. As a user of the system, your data is consistent, since Workday becomes the primary data warehouse for important data. Additionally, through smart business intelligent tools, the system user is able to pick only the data that is relevant and useful to the business need.

The data accuracy question is a little harder to answer, however, as with any system the information is only as good as what is entered. Through processes and tasks within the system, Workday provides tools to help minimize these inaccuracies. Depending on the complexity of the system setup and the number of validations or conditions used, the accuracy of the data can be partially offloaded from the user to the system.

Some examples:

  • A simple keystroke error such as entering or omitting a comma or “0” can be the difference between paying your employee $1,000,000 when you meant to enter $100,000 (or vice versa!). With Workday, you can assign possible salary ranges for different compensation grades, or set up triggers and additional notifications if something entered is “off”.
  • There is a cost center (or geographical region) within your organization where every member is a union represented employee. Workday can house logic where when an applicant or employee is assigned to the specific organization, additional tasks are triggered to ensure union information is correctly entered. If the employee does not meet the organization criteria, the steps are not triggered. Additionally, scheduled reports can be run to let system users know of potential problems with employee information.

If you’re thinking about moving to Workday, or perhaps you’re already on Workday, please review those three questions and apply them to your organization. I’m willing to bet folks who are thinking of switching to Workday will raise some eyebrows at the answers, while those who are already on Workday will understand the improvement it made.

Look for Part II to this article in April as we discuss how to address key data problems.