Enterprise Times spoke with Roger Neel, CTO and co-founder at Mavenlink. The company’s industry cloud for professional services delivers transformative value by putting resource optimisation at the core. Mavenlink provides integrated project management, collaboration and accounting tools.
Data silos is often cited by businesses as a major barrier to digital transformation and innovation. According to Neel, “when thinking about data modelling, we’re actually thinking about how real-world users interact with their business processes. And then we’re really trying to model what the day-to-day business life should entail.” Neel gave us his top five tips for breaking down those organisational data silos that is preventing organisations from working more effectively together.
Roger Neel tips for reducing data silos
- Businesses need to lift the hood and understand the current tools, software, and applications in their technical stack. Look for overlap with multiple tools that do the same job or activity. Managers then have to start minimalising using those tools. Otherwise, systems integration becomes far more challenging and complex.
- Seriously explore and document what we call in Mavenlink, those main hubs – the data processes and workflows of the operational system of record. Inevitably enterprises have project teams, the delivery teams, sales systems on platforms such as Salesforce. In addition, there will be your financial system of record.
- Coalesce around those hubs. Ensure you have total visibility on the role of these hubs. Managers must define the must have, could have, should have functionalities and requirements provided by these tools. Often organisations have lots of different teams, choosing their pet tool, working with third parties, at the expense of overall visibility in the organisation. This may need to change.
- Ensure that the tools being used in your business can be customised to meet your business needs. For instance, tools that can unify sales data with project data. A business may need to integrate with Salesforce, SAP or Magento, with your CRM platform.
- Once you have that simplified architecture, unify it with business intelligence (BI). This is to ensure the business get good reports and kind of unified reports that provides business intelligence across all your data sets. As Roger Neel concludes, its really important to “Unify with BI.”