8 key questions for CEOs on data integration

Jan 21, 2022

BLOG 4- 8 key questions for CEOs on data integration

Shane Grant, the CEO of Danone North America, voiced the thoughts of many business owners when he spoke about how crazy and unpredictable things are these days.

In an interview with CNBC just before the new year, he said:

“As we go into 2022, I think it’s this theme of just volatility, and it’s not one particular type of volatility. It’s enormous volatility in our supply chain. It’s everything from input availability, capacity, transportation, labor, it’s Covid adaptations byways of working adaptation. It’s this accordion economy of ... stop-and-go, and the adaptations required.”

Considering continuing pandemic realities, some CEOs might be closely watching four issues this year:

• The need to recruit, retain and upskill or train good employees.
• Cost savings of making their organizations more efficient—often through automation.
• Managing unpredictable supply chain issues.
• Enhancing digital business processes for pandemic resilience.

Did you know that HR data integration can help you deal with these concerns?

Here are 8 common questions on data integration.

1. Do I really need data integration?

Integration can help mitigate data risks of different kinds.

If you’re concerned about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, then integration of your business data is a way to maintain data flow to remote workers or make fast adjustments to deal with supply chain issues.
Data integration also lays the foundation for providing better on-demand services to all work teams to boost engagement, communication, and teamwork.

Also, ask your team leaders and managers about their issues. They may have problems that a simple integration could solve.

Is your competition already using integrated systems that help them operate more efficiently than you?
That can put you at a disadvantage.

Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools notes that a need for “hybrid and multi-cloud data integration, augmented data management, and data fabric designs” is driving “renewed momentum” in the market.

Data integration is becoming even more important.

2. How can data integration help me in HR?

If you’re trying to recruit top talent, integration can help you make wiser, more insightful hiring decisions.
How? By leveraging data to make a decision based on facts rather than luck and intuition, which can mislead you.
For example, do your managers have access to assessment results? Is your recruiting team tracking acquisition channels to see which ones produce high-quality candidates?

If you’re trying to keep your best people happy and motivated to stay, data integration can also help.
You can link conferencing platforms, learning systems, and employee portals to bring learning and HR services into the flow of work.

Hybrid work will probably be permanent, and learning is critical for upskilling. So, you need adaptive HCM tech and systems. Data integration enables those systems.

3. How can data integration help me boost efficiency?

Integration can save you time and money with quicker, more streamlined access to information.
An MIT Sloan article points to the key importance of widespread data use in firms, requiring “data that can be de-contextualized and recombined and reused over and over.”

Barbara Wixom, the principal research scientist at MIT Center for Information Systems Research, says companies should establish data capabilities in several key areas.

Those capabilities include creating accurate data assets and establishing their own data platforms to serve up data reliably and quickly, inside and outside the firm.

The pandemic sped up online retail sales in a big way, and online shoppers can be quick to change to a competitor if you run out of stock. While an integrated system will not solve all your supply chain bottlenecks, it can help you stay on top of your own inventory and be better prepared.

4. What are some examples of successful data integration?

Human Resources departments, as well as organizations within the retail, healthcare, and financial industries, all depend on good data integration.

Human Resources: You can gather, categorize and organize data from many sources, such as your HRIS, ATS, LMS, or third-party software.

Retail: Online and physical stores deal with inventory, sales data, customer data, consumer behavior, and loyalty programs. You need to track and centralize that data for it to be useful.

Health Care: Hospitals gather many kinds of medical information to understand, treat, and track a patient’s illness. Integrating patient information into a single record helps improve health outcomes, improve access, and control costs.

Finance: Data integration enables many sophisticated fraud detection software programs to help banks identify and prevent instances of fraud.

5. How can I assess the value of a data integration project?

Establish clear metrics, goals, and criteria to help you assess success.

Treat it like any other important project. Set your OKRs, KPIs, or SMART objectives, and measure them well.

6. How long does an integration project last?

Simple integrations using point-to-point connectors between just two systems can happen in a day or two. Others, involving more complex data systems, may take months. It depends on what you want to connect or integrate. Each project is unique.

7. The business is doing fine. Why do I need analytics?

You need analytics because they can help you see truths about your business operations you might not otherwise notice. That helps you improve processes and address hidden problems.

Data integration puts the right information in the right place, but columns of figures, statistics, or complex GIS data is not always helpful.

This is where visualizations like graphs, diagrams, and dashboards can help.

They organize the data you need and can present it to you in visual formats that instantly communicate understanding. They enable you to quickly see relationships and trends so you can make better and faster decisions.

8. Why is integrated data important?

Integrated data ensures you consolidate and use accurate data. It automates data capture to eliminate human error.

Accurate data can improve many things, from your customer relationships to the quality of your products and services.

So, it’s important to get it right—clean data, centralized, in a form you can use.

“Data per se is not new, but its power to drive
business value in modern times is unprecedented.”

—Mohan Subramaniam
Are You Using the Right Data to Power Your Digital Transformation?
Harvard Business Review

That’s food for thought and action. What do you need to integrate?

HR data integration is a critical step in Workday optimization.
See how it fits into your plan.

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   Workday® Integrations Best Practice

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About Pixentia

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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