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Modernizing your BI: The importance of closing the analytics loop

Data is the asset with the greatest potential in any business. Yet, it’s not only the quantity of data that’s important for business success, but also the quality, and the speed at which it’s available that drives real value.

Businesses need the best solution for each step of the data journey, from collection to analysis and the right actions. Writeback capabilities help to streamline the final leg, and close the analytics loop. And are an essential part of modern BI.

What is writeback?

In data analytics, writeback is the ability to input and update data live at the data source. In essence, writeback closes the analytics loop. And the resulting value for a business is far-reaching.

Writeback extends beyond the traditional read-only functionality to include the ability to create, update, and delete data directly where you’re doing your analysis. This removes the hassle of jumping between various applications and saves the user time.

With the ability to edit and adjust data on the fly, and capture user input and enter new data directly in published apps, employees can get answers, make decisions, and take the right actions – fast!

The capacity writeback solutions add to analytics helps to not only speed up data exploration and insight sharing, but also to simplify planning and streamline workflows, as data is written back to the source.

The business benefits of writeback

Writeback brings users closer to the data and supports modern BI by providing:

1. A single source of truth (SSOT)

According to TechTarget, a single source of truth is “a concept that an organization can apply as part of its information architecture to ensure that everyone in the organization uses the same data when making business decisions.” And further, they share that with a SSOT, organizations can “provide employees with a federated view of data.”

With SSOT in place, organizations help provide the right data at the right time. What this means is getting accurate data into the hands of decision-makers like project leads in time to make agile strategic decisions. SSOT also reduces data duplication, so there are fewer errors, saving the business time and reducing the costs incurred by data errors.

2. More automation, faster data analytics

Writeback enables teams to automate processes. You can manage all your processes from a single location to establish seamless integration between disparate data sources.

Say, for instance, a finance team manages to automate more of their manual processes. Well, the results of the automation benefit not only their team, but the business as a whole. Not only will they achieve faster financial reporting but also help the business with timely, accurate insights – supporting broader functions such as business-scenario planning and stress-testing.

3. Full audit trail

Audit trails are step-by-step records that are traceable back to the source. In data analysis, audit trails provide the electronic records required for modern business transparency and meeting compliance standards.

With full audit trails, you get a 360-degree view of your entire database changelog for better user accountability and to support faster, more data-driven troubleshooting.

Practical writeback use cases

1. Boost financial accuracy

With writeback capabilities, finance teams can input financial adjustments directly at the source to keep data accurate and up-to-date. Plus, they can easily keep track of who made an adjustment, when and why! A surefire way to improve financial accuracy and planning.

2. Capture sales data at the source

Sales teams can capture information like lead management or sales planning directly where they analyze their data. Input, edit and delete data from within their app. The result – improved scenario modelling and forecasting accuracy.

3. Streamline business operations

Ops managers can safely add data to a database with governed, user-friendly inputs. And the more up-to-date the data, the easier it becomes to uncover any supply chain inefficiencies and boost agility.

Next-generation: Writeback in the cloud

Deloitte suggests that the next steps in managing audit trails, for instance, should include cloud solutions. Cloud analytics provides a cost-effective and dynamic way to manage the Big Data and security aspects associated with audits.

And it’s not only audit trails that meet modern BI standards when shifted to the cloud. The convergence of writeback – with its speed, agility and improved accuracy – and cloud solutions – offering more elasticity, scalability, improved collaboration and accessibility, and cost-saving – seems an inevitable next step for every business.

According to Qlik, “48% of BI users say cloud BI is ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ to their organization.” And we agree. It’s time to close the loop and fast-track the analytics to action journey.

Get more from your greatest asset – data – by exploring modern analytics solutions in the cloud. Greater data accuracy, speed, and agility are your business’ best bet during volatile market conditions.