Christopher Young at Pinnacle says don't let your data get the better of you

Pinnacle has always had a strong flow of business intelligence work, typically focused on finance and providing pure financial data. But increasingly we’re seeing other business services teams seeking insight through tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI.

The questions asked are slightly different and data-quality levels have a different impact on these teams. As a result, firms need to address some of the known issues with data to give nonfinancial teams what they’re looking for. The most important master data attributes will vary by business services team. For the analytics to be reliable, master data therefore needs to be captured easily and consistently, and working practices that can result in duplication need to be eliminated.

Take the common example of duplicated client data. From a finance department perspective, this is solved by adding all related clients together to give the total billings for the group. Simple.

But what about from a marketing perspective? If there are duplicated clients, average client values are reduced. From a collections perspective, teams may be making three or four calls throughout the day to chase up outstanding accounts receivable – and, of course, understanding of true accounts receivable exposure suffers. Firms might be unlikely to fully escape duplicate clients, but they don’t need duplicate entities. 

This article was first published in Briefing's December/January issue 'delivery of the decade', click here to read the full article.

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