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Knowledge management – How to use data more effectively

A man sitting in front of a laptop smiling

If there is a problem with the use of data, it is usually due to one of these two situations. A typical situation is that data is either not used at all or is difficult to use, and reports are often compiled manually. In the other case, the use of data is automated, but the implementation methods are lacking. In such cases, data must be rescued from inoperable solutions.

So get your overalls on and help your client promote knowledge management! Next, let’s look at these two situations separately.

Typical data use problems 

Knowledge management involves a lot of manual reporting

Every week, the CFO (or in smaller companies, the CEO himself) spends two days of his working time collecting data. He compiles data from different systems on his own. Some of the data comes from spreadsheets maintained by others, sent by email. In more advanced situations, spreadsheets are shared in the cloud, but the CFO still sends an email to the head of department asking whether the information is up to date.

The CFO struggles to get the reports together for the management team meeting, but because he has spent so much time compiling them, he hasn’t had time to analyze the collected data and use it to predict the future. The management team focuses only on looking at the past, and knowledge management is not properly implemented.

Knowledge management based on a dysfunctional reporting solution

The first company has a platform for data processing and analysis. But not everything is going as it should. Incorrect data crashes all the runs at night, and in the morning the well-being of the IT department is at stake. It’s a mess, costly to maintain and the information is not entirely reliable. This results to business management requiring explanations regarding the situation. This leads to tough discussions in the corridors. The management team can’t be sure whether the data is up to date or whether there is reason to doubt the reliability of the reports. In the worst case, the entire production process comes to a standstill as the reports that drive production are missing. 

In another company, the system has been implemented quickly and has been well received. Problems only arise when the company acquires another company whose ERP data are also needed for reporting, or when the company decides to adopt a new ERP. It turns out that changing ERP requires a change in almost every report, and that the data retrieved from the old ERP is nowhere to be found. So the whole old reporting solution is pretty useless, and the changes needed to improve knowledge management will cost a lot of money.

How can these knowledge management problems be solved? 

When Pinjans arrive in their overalls, their experience helps them observe that the construction work has gone in the wrong direction from the start. That’s OK, you can’t control everything, and that’s why we’re working together to fix it. It requires trial efforts in a limited area to make knowledge management work. For example, we migrate sales or HR data to a completely new data warehouse, and produce highly analyzed data for the management team. After that, the entire reporting solution can be put in place, part by part, as knowledge management solutions can be easily extended according to needs.

Both of the problems described above are fundamentally about understanding the value of data for business forecasting, but in a cost-inefficient way. In this case, either the reporting takes too many working hours, or the solution developed to process and analyze the data does not work.

This is a subject close to my heart, and I would like to see companies make better use of valuable data in their business. The fact is that only some companies have realized the potential of using data to create competitive advantage and grow their business.

Do you want to know more?

Read more in the Unico success story, and how we helped them make better use of their data. 

Read more

Business Intelligence services
Unico success story 
User-centric reporting is an effective way to communicate
Aiming for effective reporting – how to move from searching for information to working with information?
A summary on why a data warehouse is such an important part of knowledge management 
A data warehouse helps you move from searching for information to working with information

Hanna Salonen

Hanna Salonen

I am a knowledge utilization professional with twenty years of experience in the IT industry and knowledge-based management. The most important thing for me is that the goal set together with the customer is realized, the solution is long-lasting and easy and pleasant to use. My free time is spent e.g. with family, versatile exercise and nature.

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