How do you find your way through all of the data being collected? In this era of ERP and large data storage, we collect an impressive amount of data from a variety of sources. The question really is how to sort through all of that data to find meaningful and important information.
Collecting data is only half of the battle, you need to be able to sort and filter that data to answer questions about your business, customers, vendors, and more.
NAV is built with that in mind and the use of Sorting and filtering will provide you with the tools to see the forest for the trees in the overwhelming world of data collection.
As I look back on my 30-year career in IT, the changes have been nothing short of incredible. Yes, I remember storing data on magnetic IBM cards, the excitement of having dual 8 inch floppy drives, the purchase of a 100 megabyte drive ($10,000) back in the day.
Data storage and retrieval was challenging but nominal. Accessing, sorting, and analyzing was not a main priority. Data storage and retrieval was paramount as we transitioned away from paper files and electric typewriters.
Today, all of that has changed. Mega-data, which was once relegated to the military, scientific world, and major corporations, is now common place for companies of all sizes. Data storage is relatively inexpensive (we will save the debate on storage costs for another day) and we have the ability to amass vast quantities of information.
The result is that we have a warehouse of data at our fingertips. We have the ability to hoard data for future use without thought of capacity to store data, and for many the decision on what data to keep has been made irrelevant. Just keep it all and forever!
The downside of all of this data is making sense of it. Filtering the data into manageable bites that allow us to make decisions. What value does the data have if you cannot use it? I often think of my father’s basement filled with boxes. Nothing thrown away, everything kept “just in case”. I have fond memories of my father rooting through piles and piles of boxes, jars, or cans to find the one item he needed. Viola! He would exclaim, “See, I told you it was here and I might need it someday”.
I have re-lived that moment many times over my career when someone would pull out an old floppy drive, root through a drive’s folder structure 100 layers deep to produce some ancient document on it to shout, “Viola!”
I have frequently said over the years that it is not a matter of CAN we can do something, but SHOULD we do something. Storing mass quantities of data serves no real purpose unless we can use that data to assist us in making business decisions. Take the time to step back, take a deep breath and ask; why am I amassing all this information? What am I going to do with it? Do I have the tools and ability to process it?
As our ability to collect and store data continues to grow exponentially, the tools needed to sort and filter the data must develop as well. The demands to make use of all this data as a tool in your decision making process continues to be at the forefront of many companies. The growth of new tools, such as Power BI, continue the trend of leveraging the vast amount of data collected to make business decisions.
As you collect and store the mass quantities of data available to you today, search for that elusive balance between the wants and needs.
To find out more about this topic, watch our recorded webinar here.