Digital transformation has led businesses of all stripes to adopt new software for day-to-day operational management. But in the rush to embrace emerging tech, many companies overlooked the importance of maintaining a centralised database.
While utilising a variety of business management tools is something we would encourage, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spreading your business-critical information across multiple databases. And when that happens, it becomes difficult to maintain data accuracy and consistency, not to mention harness the full power and potential of your digital assets.
As an example, you need only look at the current climate within the trade industry. Here, businesses are seeing a huge rise in website customers, but their current systems aren’t enough to fulfil their requirements. The introduction of a centralised database would, however, help to keep everything as live as possible across the likes of retail shop floors, warehouse floors, and back-office systems – transforming how trade businesses operate for the better.
Do you remain unconvinced about the advantages that a single database can bring to your business? Join us as we look at 10 of the key benefits of having a centralised database.
1. Real-time Data Access for Improved Customer Service
How often are you and your team left waiting for insights from other departments and functions? Without a centralised database and the appropriate integration, there’s little interconnectivity between teams, platforms, and individuals, which means limited real-time data access and a slow flow of information through your business.
When your teams can rely on a centralised database, they can access the data they need, whenever they need it – even if its information collated by other departments on other platforms. This will be of benefit to all areas of your business, not least your customer service personnel, who will have the information they need to resolve queries on the spot – elevating the customer experience and helping to generate new leads and repeat custom.
2. Seamless Software Integration
Standalone systems may be effective for individual departments, but they don’t offer much in the way of cross-business collaboration and control. When systems aren’t connected, they can’t work and communicate with each other in the most efficient and productive way – meaning you could be missing out on opportunities to streamline processes and functions.
Integrating software ensures that all your key management platforms are synced and interconnected, with a centralised database allowing for maximum collaboration and ease of access. This ultimately drives efficiency and functionality, with teams able to utilise different platforms and work more closely towards the same objectives.
3. Multi-site, Multi-branch Access
For businesses that operate across multiple locations, the lack of a central database can be particularly problematic. Data sets can easily become disjointed and disorganised, with errors, inconsistencies and duplicates making information impossible to rely on. Of course, there’s also the matter of access, with the physical distance between sites making it even trickier to share and distribute data where it’s needed most.
By adopting a centralised database, however, multi-site operations can gain huge efficiencies in data sharing and real-time access. There’ll be far greater connectivity between shop floors and warehouses, while sales and marketing teams will also benefit from improved insights that can drive revenue and growth.
4. A Single Point of Truth
One of the greatest benefits of a centralised database is the accuracy and consistency it can bring to your data sets. No duplication, no inaccuracies, no data-silos. Instead, you’ll have a singular point of truth that your people can rely on as part of day-to-day task management and strategy delivery.
With a centralised database, advanced integration between otherwise standalone tools means data input is fed into a single system, including both manual and automated data entry. Improving accuracy and consistency, this centralisation ensures that your team has ready access to truthful and correct intel that can inform decision making and drive efficiency.
5. Supports Business Decision Making and Strategy Building
Whether course-correcting in times of economic uncertainty or pushing forward with ambitions for growth; the long-term strategy of your business relies on accurate and consistent data. Because how are you supposed to plan for the future when you’re not certain of the present?
A centralised database provides total clarity, showing you your strengths, weaknesses, and pain points. Offering a complete overview of your operations in real time, it supports decision making in the long and short term, while ensuring that your strategy is aligned to your key business objectives.
6. Facilitates Enhanced Automation
With real-time insights and improved access, a centralised database facilitates the adoption of enhanced automation that can simplify day-to-day processes. Teams can more readily define workflows that would suit an automated approach, with accurate data that supports operational streamlining.
7. Boosts Efficiency and Productivity
Your teams need information and insights to work at their most productive. So, don’t let standalone systems stand in the way of efficiency. A centralised database will empower your workers not only to get more done, but also to think outside the box and develop solutions which improve processes, drive efficiency, and ultimately bring more value to the business.
8. Enhances Cross-Departmental Collaboration
As touched on earlier, centralised systems mean improved collaboration, with teams better able to learn from one another’s insights and discoveries. A central database means that teams on either end of the operational spectrum can benefit from the other, with accurate intel from different parties combining to improve overall transparency, management, and control.
9. Reduced Data Redundancy
Of the data your teams collect day to day, how much is actually of value to the business? Not only does redundant data collection come at a cost (both monetarily and from an efficiency perspective), it can also lead to poor decision making and judgement calls – with teams overly reliant on inaccurate insights. A centralised system improves the integrity of your data, reducing costs and ensuring that teams only collect what they need.
10. Centralised Reporting
Senior managers and stakeholders need accurate departmental reports to make the right decisions about the direction of the business. But this is easier said than done when teams rely on multiple pieces of software, each with its own convoluted data silo and reporting system.
With a centralised database, you can effectively aggregate data from multiple platforms into a single, central reporting function. This makes reporting much more seamless and intuitive, with senior team leads able to attain complete visibility over operational activity without drilling down into individual data streams on different standalone platforms.
We hope you’ve found this guide to the benefits of centralised databases useful. For more guidance and advice on improving your day-to-day business management, take a look at our recommended further reading below:
- 8 Things to Consider Before Selling Online
- 10 Key Areas Modern ERP Software Can Impact Your Business
At Intact, we offer advanced business management solutions that are designed to make managing your day-to-day operations simpler, including fully integrated software systems that support business decision making. For more information or to learn more about our products and services, visit the homepage.