Is Data Manipulation a Thing of the Past?

Is Data Manipulation a Thing of the Past or Is the Past Still Haunting Businesses?

It’s 2015. We’ve seen many advancements to usher in a new line of automated reporting tools and systems. Yet, manual data manipulation is still a means to an end for a lot of companies. SunGard(through a recent Forbes article) confirmed as much in a survey they conducted with executives from the finance and energy industries. Here are some of the alarming stats and findings about the state of data manipulation today:

  • 45% of the companies still fill reporting needs through manual extraction and data cleansing tools
  • Information is manually imported to spreadsheets or PDF formats
  • A very large percentage of companies use “a lot of manual data manipulation or rely on batch results that are generated weekly, monthly, or at the end of the financial period
  • Only 13% of respondents utilize advanced BI techniques

The question is, why? Why are companies wasting their time, energy, and resources on manually-intensive data manipulation processes through Excel when they could spend their time analyzing the data and deriving key business insights instead?

As SunGard emphasized, “Companies’ reliance on spreadsheets, manual data manipulation, and periodic reports can limit their ability to conduct proactive analysis.”

“Analysts” naturally turn into data custodians who spend their time lugging data back and forth from databases to spreadsheets and back again before they ultimately analyze the data. They take out the “data trash” and figure out a way to prevent data from piling up in a crazy way in the future. This is not supposed to be their job, though.

By leveraging systems that cut out the need for manual data manipulation, data analysts can get back to what they were paid to do. And by using one common data source (instead of 50,000 spreadsheets), they can cut down on precious time and reduce the potential of data inaccuracy.

According to Michael Wolk, partner for information management practice at SunGard, “When you get the data organized and presented in a common data structure, the results are a lot faster – from two weeks to three days for a quarter end. There’s also a huge advantage to getting the data right after an event or transaction happened.”

Give us your nastiest manual processes and we’ll help you turn them into an automated solution you can stop worrying about – contact us now!  Don’t wait, your competitors are taking advantage of all the technology that 2015 has to offer!  Give us a shout to see how we can help!