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Creating an Information Supply Chain

Information clearly has value. Organizations in our research reported that having the right information accessible to the right people at the right time delivers a competitive advantage, increases operational efficiencies and improves communications, among other benefits. Yet organizations often struggle with the analytical systems and processes they rely on to use information optimally.

Enterprise systems originally were designed to record the operational and financial data of an organization. Each system – such as finance, CRM and HR – stood on its own. Analytical systems were added separately from the operational systems for two reasons: to minimize the impact on the performance of the operational systems and to provide a place to combine information from multiple operational systems.

However, a stand-alone analytics system is inherently problematic. Effective analysis must encompass all relevant data, which means data has to be combined from multiple systems. For example, analyzing sales without including product margin information could undercut an organization’s determination to maximize the bottom line. Similarly, analyzing employee utilization rates based on human resources records without considering customer service data could result in promoting the wrong workforce behaviors.


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