By Paul Skurpski, PVBS Vice President of Sales and Marketing
One Truth of Information Reporting is particularly important in getting the right information to executives who have become used to receiving data in real-time and visually.
I recently blogged about real-time reporting being critical in giving your team access to the information they need to be successful. Even more important is ensuring that the information is accurate. A term I recently heard that I like to use is “one truth of information reporting.” It eliminates all of the internal arguments that arise from a disagreement in how the data is viewed by different constituencies.
In the past you would have silos of information that would lead different audiences to believe that their view of it was correct. For example, Finance would build project profitability reports from the accounting system, while Project Managers, who are typically operating within the time and expense system, would build their own views from information they see there. There would always be arguments at the month’s end, because Finance would have one picture of the data, and Operations would have a different picture. With one integrated system that services both groups, you are able to get to “one truth of information,” where everybody is on the same page in terms of project performance.
One Truth of Information is Important in Getting the Right Information to the C-Suite
This is particularly important in getting the right information to executives. They have become not only used to more real-time data, but also expect it visually. Pictures at their fingertips can speak louder than numbers on a spreadsheet. In order to drive profitability, executives need to know where to focus their energy. There’s not enough time to sift through reports; you really need to be able to give people a snapshot and manage by exception. Executives are looking for dashboards that can quickly highlight issues where they can focus their energy. They can drill down into it and get the details, so they can make good decisions, not only on current programs, but where should they invest. With increased competition and challenges related to profit margins, companies want to focus on agencies and projects where they have the greatest chance for success leading to more profitability.
One of the things that I also hear people say, related to reporting, is that they need accurate historical data to know how to more smartly bid on that next project. Organizing data a certain way can help you quickly pull that out and use data to determine how to best price that future award. It puts you in a position of a greater chance of success. If you’re going to be bidding a slimmer profit margin, you need to be confident in the numbers, because there’s a slimmer margin for error. But if you end up in a situation where you don’t have good data to rely on, it’s an even greater risk.
Government contractors now realize that there are many internal audiences that have different reasons for needing data from the ERP system and different ideas on how to interpret the data. One truth of information is an actionable concept in helping companies become more profitable.