Fragmented information can lead to catastrophe.
We now know tragedies like Pearl Harbor and 9/11 may have been prevented had American intelligence-sharing been more cohesive. Instead, important pieces of information remained siloed in different agencies. Together, this intel could have painted a clear picture of an impending attack. But analyzed separately, they seemed little more than vague rumblings — the sort of noise that wasn’t enough to warrant decisive action.
These oversights offer a strong analogy for the way fragmented data can undermine an enterprise. Your organization has likely invested substantial time, money, and resources towards becoming a more data-driven operation. Yet translating disparate data points into valuable, actionable insights remains a tricky endeavor.
You can have a clear vision. You can have cross-functional buy-in. You can even have best-in-breed applications. But until your data is truly unified, it will likely remain more an obstacle than an asset. The heart of the issue is that many of the technology tools you use to produce, manage, and store your data don’t speak to one another. This is especially problematic when you consider most businesses now juggle more of these tools than ever. Just think of all the different places data can hide — CRMs, POS systems, finance software, HR software, web APIs, relational databases, ERPs, Excel spreadsheets, text files, social media, Cloud apps, custom apps, and more.
Data experts at McKinsey write of enormous challenges created when valuable data resides in “discrete silos” and “disparate applications” across an organization. Attempting to become a data-fueled enterprise despite this fragmentation is a bit like trying to win an F1 race despite a flat tire. Sure, you might get somewhere— but your speed, power, and agility will be greatly compromised.
But how to solve this ubiquitous problem?
Many solutions feel like a compromise. Organizations may opt for a purpose-built software suite that includes multiple applications all from the same vendor. These are also referred to as “all-in-ones”. Since all the products in the suite share a common DNA, integration is relatively simple. However, switching to such a system can bring about a variety of headaches.
For one, your organization will likely have to give up any best-in-breed applications you currently utilize. That means weaker capabilities and less robust functionality. Best-in-breed applications offer deep, specialized features that can help internal stakeholders save time and solve harder problems. Those who use a specific best-in-breed application often become fiercely loyal to that piece of software, as it empowers them to perform better in their role.
Two, your organization will have to adapt to a new suite of applications. Any leader worth their salt understands this presents an enormous challenge. The nuts-and-bolts logistics, alone, can require a tremendous amount of time, energy, and IT expertise. The potential cultural fallout of such a change can also be immense. In a world where every company is now a technology company, a teardown and rebuild of your tech stack is a big, complex, perilous project.
Three, with enterprise licensing, your business may be forced to pay for multiple applications you’ll never actually use. This can create a frustrating situation for stakeholders as they find themselves with access to several irrelevant products yet left wanting for features or functionality they cannot have.
Some organizations utilize a blend of suite applications and best-in-breed software. While this hybrid approach can offer a lot of upside, data fragmentation remains a challenge. Data may flow relatively freely between the various suite applications, but merging that data with any data contained inside best-in-breed software can be a heavy lift.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could unify your data without these sacrifices? If there was a simple way to become a true data-driven business without giving up your preferred applications or suffering through painful implementations?
That’s exactly what you’ll find in iDashboards. iDashboards is an operational intelligenceplatform that connects all your existing and future software to unify your data for good.It works with the tools you already have and gives you flexibility to change software in the future— iDashboards can connect, combine, and clean data from over 160 different BI connectors.
How does this work? It’s because iDashboards is an umbrella software platform. As opposed to replacing software you already have, iDashboards simply sits on top of your existing tools and technology — like an umbrella.
“(Before iDashboards), we were looking at 60-70 hours a week of labor that was going into data mining and manipulation. Now? None. It’s seamless,” says David Maschke, General Manager at Experi-Metal. “Honestly, I could never go back to not having (iDashboards) … it’s really propelled our business.”
iDashboards not only integrates your data, but transforms it into engaging real-time dashboards that instantly communicate value. It requires zero coding and is built to empower stakeholders at every level of your organization.
The result? An operational intelligence platform with faster, deeper insights. Improved operational performance. Greater go-forward flexibility. All with lightning-fast implementation and virtually zero disruption to on-going business activities.
Keep what works. Fix what doesn’t. As an umbrella software program, iDashboards solves your data management issues and equips your business with the information needed to make better decisions.