Garbage in, garbage out. This old mantra rings true; you must have good input to achieve good output.
When we consider Business Intelligence (BI) it is necessary to have complete and reliable data available for decision-making.
One important key to Business Intelligence (BI) is having standardized data that allows for mining the metrics you need. Having disparate data formats or data that resides in different platforms can be challenging. You will need to consider how to best achieve bringing all your data together into one location, so your reporting can be comprehensive. The data will have to be aligned properly so that you can return accurate results.
Once the key data components have been standardized, you should determine whether adding in supplemental information will be beneficial. For example, if you correlate Cost of Goods Sold invoice data with Billing and Inventory detail such as customer or geographic location, this could result in a great value-add to your data. Perhaps it would give insight such as the following:
Identification of customers to target when rolling out a new offering
Empowerment to buy wholesale services at a discounted cost from regional suppliers based on services in a specific geographic area
Calculation of product margins
Or if you cross-reference data against Provisioning/Network information, you may be enabled to report on:
Assessment of vendor turn-around times from time of order to service delivery
Determination of which markets have underutilized capacity
Optimization of network infrastructure and resources
Once you are confident you have added in all relevant detail to the data, you want to ensure that you have the capability to manipulate or massage the data. The data needs to be reportable and capable of proper assessment to give meaningful results. Having flexibility to customize the output of the data helps you narrow in on matters that need the most attention and focus.
At Contact Telecom, we specialize in standardizing data. With our SaaS product, Billing Data Analyzer (BDA), we parse through over 3,000 invoice file formats each month. By integrating invoice data with client specific information, these various input streams result in an enhanced output that empowers our customers to assess BI comprehensively and drive meaningful results.