Data is one of the most valuable commodities that an organisation holds. It can range from sales, orders and customer contact details to product information, stock levels and employee information. It can be used to drive company growth, improve customer service as well as to exploit new opportunities.
However, as most of this data is now stored on various databases contained within a wide range of business systems – accounting, CRM, ERP, HR, product development – many businesses don’t use this valuable resource effectively. Systems are often disparate, lacking the integration required to share and use the data to best advantage. Organisations therefore don’t benefit from the business intelligence and strategic insight available that can help drive the organisation forward.
The data generated by a system may well only be readable and pertinent to that system, thus hindering its use in other systems. It therefore makes life for the IT department extremely difficult and painstakingly slow as it will have to manually monitor, extract, format and distribute data around an organisation. The team ideally needs tools to improve data quality across the organisation while breaking down silos and sharing information across departments, for better decision-making.
The Benefits of Data Manipulation
Having the ability to easily extract, transform and load data around various systems and databases is extremely useful to help repurpose data for additional business processes. Once the data can be moved between systems it is then possible to manipulate the data to make it even more useful. For example, all the data collected via eCommerce ideally needs to be shared with an accounting, CRM or ERP system. This will help different departments manage order workflows, provide better customer service as well as exploit new opportunities.
Data manipulation is also often used on web server logs or within inbound marketing solutions to allow a website owner to view their most popular pages as well as their traffic sources. Having good data means organisations have good insight into business relationships and can benefit from better targeting, more relevant messaging and higher quality targets.
Data Integration and Synchronisation
The data integration and synchronisation capabilities of Codeless Platforms’ business automation software, BPA Platform bridges the gap between disparate information systems or online web services, by providing a graphical process modeller and comprehensive operating environment that either dramatically reduces, or totally eliminates the need for complex data integration development. By design, it delivers and manages process integration, ensuring that systems ‘play nicely’, no matter how complex the requirements.
The BPA Platform can automatically monitor and manipulate data stored on databases and held within systems so that it can be used for other purposes and in other systems. Initially it can perform exception checking by monitoring a system to make sure that the data is correct and useable. If not, it can run a query and send the results to somebody to fix them.
Once the data is correct, the BPA Platform can then automatically extract the data and place it into a staging table in which it can compare and translate the data for use in another system. This is achieved by using the Data Filter Tool – a General tool which is used to create a Task Step that takes a recordset produced by a database query and, based on set rules, provides a filtered output recordset for subsequent use by other Task Steps.
- Using a Data Filter Step, the current Repository data for a Task may be compared to a new recordset produced at Task run time to filter the data passed to the Output Step for processing.
- Repository data may be exported as an XML file or CSV file for backup purposes or use in other applications.
- A Repository may be selected for use in any Task so that different columns may be populated from different data sources.
- Repository data values may be manually edited, rows deleted or the Repository ‘reset’ by deleting all the data.
- The Repository schema may be edited to change column details, insert columns or delete columns to match the data source.
- Previously exported XML files may be imported into BPA Platform.
- Previously exported or new CSV files may be imported into BPA Platform.
The BPA Platform integrates with each system to make sure that the formatting is correct, such as text or HTML, and can remove items from the initial database to correlate with the next system. Once formatted, it can then automatically push the data into the new system or distribute it to the relevant department or people.
Delivering Better Information
Automating data manipulation will remove a vast amount of manual processing and will help the IT department deliver better information across an organisation. With full integration between systems, every department will have access to the most up-to-date information, which will enable them to perform their jobs better as well as explore new growth opportunities and improvements to procedures.