Disparate data can be detrimental to firms that do not properly link and store their data within their systems. Specifically, for HR managers who are looking to optimize workflow between their HR core and the many different connected smart modules. A consolidated HR PaaS, like PeopleSpheres, can help eliminate disparate data and streamline the many workflows that appear in the HRIS industry.
Defining Disparate Data
Disparate data is any form of data that is different in quality, type, character, or generally unalike. The concept of data types can be confusing, but a simple analogy is an easy way to break down this topic. Imagine you have three separate buckets filled with water. Two are connected via a pipe, allowing the water to flow between them. The third bucket is disconnected, creating a problem if the water needs to flow into the other two buckets. The water in the third bucket represents the disparate data, and one can see why this creates such a problem. It takes more resources to access and transfer the data from this bucket to the others simply because it lacks connection to the other two buckets.
Relating to firms in the modern business world, specifically those in the HR industry, disparate data can grow exponentially as the HR core implements multiple systems. Disparate data is an issue in every industry, but as more firms adapt to the digital workspace, they need to understand how to limit the amount of disparate data in their systems.
An App-Centric Future
As the HR industry moves towards a more digital workspace and an app-centric future, database integration, information management, disparate data will only grow as a problem. Each platform implements an entire suite of applications for employees that require employee enrollment. Without the proper infrastructure, these entries can become disparate data. This model works great for companies with no long-term expansion goals, but if the underlying platform needs expanding or revitalizing, each data set must be copied and reintroduced into the system. Furthermore, most HR systems handle loads of sensitive data, and multiple copies of these records raise security risks for the firms and users. Overall, the app-centric future will increase the amount of disparate data within any given system, unless firms in the HR industry actively take steps to optimize their HR workflows and HR software.
The Best-of-Breed strategy can be great for smaller firms who want to specialize in one area and provide the best data-driven approach to a particular solution. However, having many Best-of-Breed solutions without an integrated Employee Experiential Platform (EXP) can allow disparate data to grow to uncontrollable levels. The inherent nature of Best-of-Breed solutions aids the growth of disparate data, as each solution only specializes in one area, with minimal connections to other sections of the HRIS platform.
The main issues involving disparate data stem from a poor HR core and a lack of connected smart modules. As the world moves toward a fully app-centric future, many firms, especially HR platforms, must be vigilant in creating systems that focus on scalability and eliminating disparate data.
Why Disparate Data is Holding You Back
Disparate data can pile up quickly, leading to headaches and dysfunction within firms. Most disparate data quietly builds and does not show until the problem is uncontrollable. That is the primary driver to promote good practice and constant support to minimize disparate sources and limit the number of data archipelagos.
No Single Source of Truth
If your firm seems to be struggling from disparate data problems, there are some key signs signaling a stressed system. Multiple points of failure provide an insight that there are holes in your data map. These holes create numerous error sources, leading to increased resources spent trying to find the root of the problem. Even if your firm accepts spending the additional capital to resolve these issues, the problem might not lie in the same data pool. One solution is to set up a single system to house all essential workflows and processes while having a separate system to house in-progress projects. This solution eliminates the possibility of any overlap between the current and unfinished systems, a common problem in HRIS infrastructure.
Additionally, data synchronization efficiency can decline as disparate data increases. This decrease in synchronization leads to inconsistencies between records. If the situation worsens, catastrophe can strike for those in the HR or healthcare industries. In the HR industry, data can be improperly analyzed and lead to improper reports generated by HR managers. To reiterate, the severity of data inconsistency depends on the sensitivity of data recorded and processed. Sensitive, individual-specific information fills the HR industry, so if these records are inconsistent, security risks increase for the firm, too. Aggregating these records allows every manager and employee to be on the same page regarding records and other sensitive details.
The danger of implementing outdated data sets will hamper the business intelligence of a firm. This problem goes hand-in-hand with the issue of inconsistent data, as negative impacts will show in the firm’s operations and ability to meet demand. Without current data, making informed decisions is nearly impossible, affecting efficiency and advanced analytics. Relating to the HR industry, if an HR manager does not have the proper list of potential candidates due to a disparate data problem, they could miss out on great hires. This is a small example, but there are much more dire ramifications to improper use of analytics.
Addressing Disparate Data: A Unified HR Platform
A unified HR platform solves all the issues disparate data can create. It eliminates storing records in multiple places as it unifies every application and storage in one system. PeopleSpheres provides a great example of how a single HRIS lessens the possibility of disparate data creating complex issues for your firm.
The platform unifies all applications within a single portal, limiting the number of data holes found within the system. The HR core creates strong links between external applications without isolating the records found in these essential HR applications. This strategy limits disparate data, as each entry is transferrable and scalable across applications.
Additionally, trusting that your data is up-to-date helps you make better-informed business decisions that can propel your firm to success within your industry. Constant synchronization allows you to focus your efforts on improving the business operations compared to fixing the current infrastructure within your firm. These ideas constantly get overlooked for the other more luxurious aspects of data storage, but trusting your infrastructure is fundamental to having an efficient information system.
A great second step are data analytics companies that provide solutions through their data analytics softwares. These softwares will go through the multiple datasets and run it through a big data analysis. This is more of an advance solution to data analysis. The first step to focus on is on data quality to get rid of the disparate data with programs such as PeopleSpheres transforming all your software into a unified solution to get rid of disparate old and new data.
A Single System of Record
A single system helps eliminate disparate data by keeping all the data in one place. All systems are connected, allowing for easy access and connections between sources. Your firm can also heavily cut costs as old systems are repurposed and integrated into a single system of record. The key to success with big data analytics is to analyze your firm’s infrastructure by monitoring scalability and start small. It can be daunting to overhaul an older system to eliminate disparate data, but doing so will improve efficiency and quality of life. Data integration will also be simplified as cloud-based solutions will be easily integrated bringing an increase in business value.
This concept heavily applies to the HR industry as many services do not provide a single system of record for HR managers. With the number of essential HR tools, it is hard to imagine how a single system can house all this data as a self-service. Reworking old systems to fully integrate each application, not isolate it, is one solution to solving the ever-growing issue of disparate data. There are many types of data such as enterprise data, raw data, real time data, cloud data, business processes, platform data, along with other volumes of data that aren't fully-managed. Let's not complicate our business even further with these setbacks and have all the opportunities to succeed through fast data-management.
We can't just think of a "now". With a program like PeopleSphere, there will be a solution for old integrated software and new integration of the newer software to combat the unstructured data. New data sources shouldn't be something to be afraid of. The data source should just be integrated in an all-in-one space with the old data.
Cross-Application Reporting and Dashboards
Another solution for the disparate data problem is managing cross-application reporting and creating dashboards with aggregated information. Most disparate data comes from disconnected and unstructured sources, forcing the user to make copies of each record in every application. Implementing cross-application reporting does not create copies of each record.
They use the same data set for every application creating a more efficient environment and systems. Also, reporting these records to a dashboard further aggregates the data, making it easy for the user to read and manage behind the scenes of business analytics tools. If you can manage your firm’s cross-application reporting, limiting the amount of disparate data will come naturally. Scattered information will become structured data that can bring actionable solutions to the table.
This might bring fear of any monetary dilemma and comfort as there is now common knowledge of current systems in place. This shouldn't be a fear because of softwares such as PeopleSpheres that can bring a centralized system to have a natural language between all systems, cleansing the multiple system in the company without having to learn newer systems or spending the extra budget on something that is working but maybe just not efficient enough. Data discovery through these transformations can be observed as data analysts will decrease its workload through this centralization of cloud-computing.
To Sum it Up...
Overall, disparate data causes vast problems for those who do not understand how to connect and improve their information system infrastructure. Modern innovations like an app-based future and best-of-breed platforms contribute to the problem. Their services do more to fracture a system and require a firm to buy multiple services to perform essential functions. This isn't something that any company wants to start doing or continue doing. What data transformation can provide are predictions, BI solutions, software analytics and ease of workload.
Disparate data can cause an increase in misinterpreted data and poor business decisions. It sneakily disrupts a system, as the main errors stems from record inputs and reports. This problem is especially true in the HR industry, as most entries are employee records and other sensitive personal information.
Unless the software has built-in synchronization error throwing, these errors will remain unseen. If you are working with outdated data, this heavily impacts your ability to make informed decisions regarding your firm. The consequences range from minimal to catastrophic, but it is best to avoid these errors altogether to not risk having the negative predictions.
There is a solution to solving the ever-growing disparate data problem. Unified HR systems store essential data in one secure location. This solution limits the number of isolated data sets, as essential HR services rarely need to copy any records. Also, monitoring cross-application monitoring helps manage disparate data. Most problems come from duplicated data, so monitoring the path data takes between applications can reduce the amount of disparate data in your system.
Lastly, You can never entirely eliminate the amount of disparate data within your system, but taking these steps and staying informed is the best way to limit the impact of disparate data by using an analytics software to have a better data visualization. We are living in the future and we have to think like it. Data mining is a tool that companies are implementing more as days pass since they are seeing the benefits of having real-time analytics without having multiple databases to waste time with. This solution make data more predictive and can be further analyze into predictive analytics making life simpler for business users.