Stimulus Australasia

Can a single source of management run a large business?

No matter how large or technical your datasets or how specialised your business is, you deserve to get the most from the enriched and right context information, knowledge, and data in your systems. 

Even large, complex and diverse companies that use different apps and software systems can get great results from adopting a single management approach. 




The challenges of managing data in big organisations 


Software architecture systems have become increasingly complex in modern organisations and dynamic enterprise businesses. Many businesses have rolled out system on top of system to keep up with the rapid changes to how companies run, how products are sold, and how customers are engaged. 

It’s been estimated that the average enterprise employing between 50 and 100 people has 79 different apps and software systems in operation. These systems help a business specialise, focus, maintain information and help achieve operational goals. But at the same time, these systems bring complexities and data management problems. 


What is single source of truth in business?


Using a single source of truth model in your enterprise business means storing your valuable data and information in a central location. Any other systems or apps that need to access your information will refer back to this system every time. There is no risk of data being unknowingly duplicated; there are singular, master versions of documents, files, and information. 

With this approach, you can’t lose any of your key information, because you know where to look, and all data is easy to access and locate. 


What is system of record in business? 


A system of record model is another approach for handling data and information, typically within a database management system or framework. In this model, data may exist in multiple, or many locations, but one of these uses is considered to be the authoritative data source for that piece of information. 

Many systems may hold and maintain the version of the data that is regarded as the master or at the top of the data hierarchy. Different systems may carry out the actions of creating, modifying, updating, or deleting the data. This model of data management may also be referred to as a source system of record approach. 


Single source of truth vs system of record 


Data accuracy is an important principle, whether dictating a company-wide policy or department-based procedures. Without a single source of truth, your data is at risk of becoming inaccurate. With a single source of truth, you can mitigate the risk of information going astray. With a system of record approach, you run the risk of data being contradicted or incompatible with other systems that need to use it. 

Differences in structures, metadata, processes across the many systems that have partial authority can cause faults, bugs, or systems failures. 


Benefits of single source of truth 


Using a single source of management approach gives you both a sound data management framework and an efficient hierarchy for your applications and systems. You can be confident that your information and resources are up-to-date and relevant to the requirements of the people who access that knowledge. 

Enabling an effective single source of truth model will allow you to:

  • Ensure your customer records, sales data, product information, procedural and resources documents and other files are accurate, reliable and free of errors
  • Get the correct information to the people that need it, at the time they need it
  • Ensure better decision making with reliable data to back them up
  • Improve data intelligence capacity
  • Increase efficiencies associated with data creation and information storage, handling and dissemination
  • Map our product data and sales information right through the entire sales chain




Master data management single source of truth 


With master data management on your side, you can confidently handle multiple data sets from your multiple businesses arms. This includes:

  • Product
  • Customer
  • Employee
  • Asset
  • Partner or vendor
  • Location
  • Reference


Product management with single source of truth 


The single source of truth approach is not just used in computing networks and systems. It is also a concept used in project management, business analytics and decision making. Suppose your business runs multiple and complex projects. In that case, a single source of truth approach can help you sat on top of the complex pathways, timelines, stakeholders and research that project management involves. 

The single source of truth approach works well with projects. If you don’t have all of the project information that is being generated working effectively, you are more likely to encounter problems or even see a project fail. 

A single source of truth can help you keep a project on time and on budget, helping you avoid duplication of effort and the need to rework components as a result of poor data handling, misinformation and miscommunication. 


Master data management in ecommerce 


If you’re operating in ecommerce, a master data system will help you:

  • Receive orders and sales from across multiple channels- your stores, multiple sites or third party
  • Organise inventory, including across multiple physical locations, manage inventory levels
  • Make it easier for customers to have access to real-time stock and product data
  • Manage payments, refunds and receipts, tax records and calculations
  • Support multiple sites that have multiple brands, languages and currencies
  • Handle multiple delivery methods like same-day delivery, collect in-store, ship to home
  • Track project milestones


Implementing single source of truth


  1. Asses your existing data ecosystem- you’ll need to be clear about the amount of data you have, what you need moving forward and the overall quality of the data
  2. Select a tool- do your research to ensure your integration system will suit all of your data needs, both at this point and into the future. A scalable system, meaning it can adapt to handle more information as you grow, will ensure you’re set for many years to come.
  3. Data cleansing- work with the data in your existing systems to get it ready for its future use and integration, remove duplications, clear out any files you no longer need
  4. Implement the single source of truth system- which can collect and collate data retained in other systems
  5. Ensure user confidence and capacity- get your users onboard an trained in the use of the new system, establish rules and procedures


Barriers to implementing single source of truth 


Of course, making major changes to data in your business will feel disruptive, and for some it might seem like a major upheaval. The barriers you might face include:

  • Lack of employee buy-in
  • Confusion about which information is critical to keep
  • Issues related to inconsistency of data in existing systems
  • An inability to see the overall vision or goal
  • The belief it is change for change’s sake


Single source of truth case study 


A company’s annual report is one of the key ways it communicates information about the year’s achievements, activities, and innovations. Shareholders and stakeholders alike often have big expectations about an annual report- that it be consolidated with information from across the business, across the brands, and across the world should the company be international. The annual report also needs to be accurate. 

If your business is of a specific size, you’ll likely have lots of people from different departments who need to contribute information to the annual report. And you’ll want to know that the data they are providing is accurate, and can be accurately compared to other critical data from other contributors.

With a single source of truth systems, everyone can get their data from the same system. The single-source approach gives you a basis for consistent and verifiable data sets for an accurate reporting foundation. Having this common framework enables people, from any department, from any office, to be able to collaborate and work together with confidence. 

If you need people to research and pull out facts, figures, or statistics, they will all be using the same information pool to do so. Your people can spend more time analysing, explaining, presenting the data instead of wasting time searching for data or working out which version of information is correct. Single source of truth also saves lot of time and effort when it comes to interrogating or investigating data, or at the time of an audit being conducted. 




Pimcore and single source of truth programming 


The larger your business, the more critical it is to use your knowledge and data smarter. Pimcore is a system that manages information through metadata- that is, all of the unique signifying pieces of information related to every single asset, file or image. When you use Pimcore as the system to enable a single source of truth model, you will be able to manage data quality, find, match and delete information simply and effectively. Single source of truth programming means multiple, distributed systems can have an agreed-upon process and capacity. 

Pimcore can confidently important and export CSV band XLSX spreadsheets, with configurations that can be saved and shared. It can also automatically match data from across imports and use sophisticated rules for data transfer. Because it is driven by 100% API software architecture, Pimcore can also enable connectivity between business enterprise systems and third party applications. This enables real time updates across your network.

The bigger your business, the better a system like Pimcore can handle your data with the benefits felt right across the organisation. 


More related articles

View all articles