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Data Duplication – A serious concern with an easy solution

By iNECTA, April 16, 2018

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Data is a critical element of modern business and we generate a vast number of data points on a daily basis. Access to accurate data is essential to all departments within the business but much of this data is duplicated, often many times over. This is not only an incredible waste of time and resources, it increases the chance of errors exponentially. There is no doubt that data duplication is a major challenge facing modern business.

Data duplication is not only a totally unnecessary waste of time but also has the potential to cause major problems and costly mistakes. Most companies don’t realize the volume of duplication that takes place across different areas of the business and the problems that it can cause. No matter how careful and diligent staff might be, occasional human error is inevitable. When capturing critical data, even a small error can have major consequences.

What is data duplication and why does it happen?

Data duplication is normally as a result of growth. As a business grows, they usually invest in accounting software as a first priority. This is normally followed by a customer relationship management or CRM package, distribution software, project management software, HR software and a range of other ad hoc platforms and software solutions. These systems seldom if ever talk to each other and are often procured from different vendors. The result of these disparate systems is that each department operates as a silo, entering their own data into their own software. As you can imagine, much of this data is duplicated.

This is a serious productivity killer. Furthermore, the potential for errors to creep in increases exponentially the more independent systems are used. Orders or invoices could go to the wrong people, quotes might not get to the intended client, marketing messages are sent multiple times and a host of other issues could arise.

All of these have the potential to negatively impact customer service and many could result in a direct financial loss. Some of these data errors go unnoticed for long periods before they’re discovered. Finding and correcting these errors is time-consuming and further reduces productivity.

The cost of data duplication

We have already discussed some of the more obvious issues that data duplication can cause but to recap and highlight a few others, here are the main pain points caused by data duplication:

  • Wasted time and effort
  • User frustration and poor adoption of software platforms
  • Poor customer service
  • Irritating customers with duplicated messages leading to a poor company image
  • Increased marketing costs
  • Missed opportunities
  • Slow and inefficient processes and workflows
  • Inaccurate reports leading to slow and poor decision making 

The solution

A good ERP system or business management solution will be able to integrate the individual silos created in each department and eliminate the need for duplicate data. Data entered at one point on the system will be shared across all departments in real time. Provided the data is correct at the time of entry, it will be consistent throughout the company and there will be no need to enter or duplicate the data. This will obviously result in a significant time saving and reduce the potential for human error. Productivity will improve and data integrity will be enhanced. This sharing of data can further improve productivity through the use of workflows that move seamlessly from department to department as necessary. This will streamline operations and increase turnaround time on processes.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV and now, the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a great example of a system that will integrate all departments and, amongst many other benefits, eliminate data duplication. This unified system will ensure that data entered once, at any point in the organization, is instantly shared and accessible to all other areas of the business. This ensures there is no time wasted on each department capturing the same data repeatedly while reducing the risk of errors. The accuracy, speed and integrity of the system will also lead to greater adoption and users will be more inclined to make use of the systems available.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will not only prevent data duplication by integrating all departmental systems within the enterprise but has advanced data management and tools to ensure duplication does not happen when data is captured or updated and to detect and resolve any duplications.

Duplicate detection monitors data during input and alerts the user of any duplication. The system comes standard with default rules and is customizable to create additional rules if necessary.

While the prevention of duplicate data is a great feature, a consolidated system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has many other aspects that will benefit the organization.

Some of the other benefits of integration include:

  • Faster workflows
  • More accurate reporting
  • Better budgeting and forecasting
  • Real-time and accurate financials and account management
  • Improved stock control
  • Reduced invoicing and delivery errors
  • Improved customer relations and service

 Final thoughts

Data duplication is a lot more prevalent than most companies realize and the costs and damage resulting from it are significant. In order to improve efficiencies and reduce the negative consequences of this problem, it is important that businesses take steps to address data duplication. A quality ERP system or software such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the ideal solution. In order for your company to run efficiently, data duplication needs to be eliminated.

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