4 Factors Fueling the Growth of Modern Data Hubs for Business Reporting
As the volume of data and requirements for gaining access to it continue to skyrocket, it is becoming vital for organizations to find ways to aggregate their business information and quickly understand it. And that involves putting the ability to analyze data into the hands of more analysts, data scientists and other stakeholders and decision makers than ever before without requiring them to spend crazy amounts of time preparing the data.
Today’s modern data hub facilitates this … and here’s how.
Why Consider a Data Hub?
Silvon has noticed over the past several years that a shift towards a modern data hub architecture to support enterprise analytics and reporting has been driven by a number of key business drivers. The following four drivers consistently top the list for the companies we work with:
- To facilitate the analysis of data from multiple data sources and applications
- To support the move to self-service reporting
- To provide greater responsiveness to line-of-business (LOB) users and analysts
- To enable enterprise reporting both within and beyond an organization’s four walls
A modern data hub is a gateway to information no matter where it’s coming from.
A modern data hub collects, integrates and manages data from multiple disparate systems and external data sources (like market research and point-of-sale systems), regardless of whether the data is on-premise or in the cloud. Once integrated, the data is made “analytics ready” and securely available to users.
A key benefit of this approach is that users don’t need to know how the data is stored to access and view it. In addition, their views of data reflect the exact same names and structures that are appropriate to their business areas and technical abilities. Plus, it ensures that everyone across the business is analyzing the exact same data – supporting truly accurate reporting across the enterprise.
The architecture of a modern data hub is also designed to readily support new data sources and applications as they become available. And for many organizations that upgrade, change or migrate their internal ERP and other systems to the cloud, a data hub offers a convenient way for them to manage and provide ongoing, secure access to their core operational data for reporting purposes during the transition.
A modern data hub supports self-service reporting.
A modern data hub unites optimal operational and analytical features that address the self-service needs of business analysts and citizen data scientists (rather than IT). Once most of an organization’s data is visible from a single hub, both business and technical people can see what “the big picture” is in terms of the information they are securely authorized to view and work with and to leverage that information for business advantage.
As an example of this, the data scientists and business analysts at several of our customer accounts regularly import their own budgets and forecasts from spreadsheet applications like Excel into their Silvon data hub for planning purposes, which leads to additional data sharing and data-driven collaboration. Many of our clients also use Power BI for creating visual scorecards, dashboards and reports while relying on Silvon’s hub to confidently pull information that’s both vetted and trustworthy into those visuals and reports.
A modern data hub offers greater responsiveness to line-of-business users.
The modern data hub provides views that make data look simpler and more unified than it really is. This way, unique views for diverse business functions – from sales and marketing to purchasing, production, shipping, customer service (and everything else in between) – can be created quickly without disrupting business processes and user productivity. Users can access, analyze and share information in terms and structures they understand … and, again, without having to know how the data is stored. This gives them a leg up in their ability to assess and respond more quickly to deviations in business performance based on the data.
A modern data hub has enterprise scope – endless reach.
The integrated analytics and data management aspects of a modern data hub can accommodate all of an organization’s critical information in order to glean insights that are based on the analysis of diverse data from distributed sources. This generally isn’t possible with older hubs that are data silos limited to a single operational data store, like customer orders derived from an ERP system.
Also, with older data repositories, the data comes in for analysis by a short list of users and rarely comes out to be shared and reused elsewhere. A modern data hub, on the other hand, enables data that’s collected to be immediately shared with many users both inside and external to the organization. Today’s data hubs accomplish this information sharing in a number of different ways – for example, via customizable data views, interactive dashboards, automated email reports and other data delivery means.
If your business is challenged by multiple data silos and inaccurate numbers between them, increased demand by internal and external stakeholders for greater visibility to your business data, or an impending application migration where you need continued access to your data both during and after the transition, it would serve you well to consider a modern data hub to support your financial and operational reporting requirements. To learn more about Silvon’s packaged data hub and reporting solution, we invite you to check out our Stratum Data Hub webpage.