7 must-have options for end-to-end information visibility
Have you ever headed out to your car on a cold, winter morning only to find the windshield completely frosted with ice? If you’re in a hurry, you may not scrape all the frost off the windshield or wait long enough for the car’s defroster to fully perform the job. Visibility is limited to the small area directly in front of you, which means that you drive more cautiously and your reactions to another car or pedestrians in your path could be compromised.
Now, think about your business and the data that you rely on to provide insights or support your processes and strategic business decisions. Do you have complete visibility into the data flows throughout your organization? Are you able to identify potential problems and adjust your processes quickly to minimize business disruption? Can you see how well data is flowing from source to source in near-real-time?
Lack of clear data visibility distorts business goals
Clear data visibility delivers insights based on timely access to and monitoring of operational data. Crucially, it helps organizations improve business operations, spot opportunities and mitigate risk. However, many organizations end up making poor decisions due to inadequate and/or inconsistent data visibility across their ecosystem – partners, systems and things. Although business-to-business (B2B) integration supports the automation of purchase order processing with trading partners, decreases errors, improves responsiveness and lowers costs, there are limitations on the ability to optimize this data for business insights. As businesses become more complex and the volume of data increases, applications adopted throughout the company produce silos of data that cannot be “seen” by users outside the application’s primary business unit.
Clear data visibility enables proactive action
Digital organizations combining B2B and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), or those inspired to become digital, have to extend their existing B2B processes to integrate with enterprise applications. Regardless of the approach, a strong process automation based on integrations delivers that end-to-end data visibility. This complete data visibility allows business leaders to see how data flows throughout each set of business processes in isolation and in totality.
There are a number of common scenarios that benefit from end-to-end data visibility:
- Managing spend and procurement – including full visibility into supplier performance metrics across multiple purchasing systems
- Order fulfillment – order consolidation across multiple platforms and channels, and reconciliation when integrating with warehouse management and inventory
- Order management – track and trace of shipments and order fulfillment, both at B2B and B2C settings
- Compliance reporting – streamlining processes in financial services and treasury that require identity, credit and other forms of validation, without having to replicate data in multiple places
7 must-have features for end-to-end data visibility
Many integration platforms focus on connectivity alone. To ensure that clean data from a variety of sources are available to support data analytics tools, look for these data visibility features:
- Personalized dashboards and filters for quick and easy visibility to critical information
- Multiple search options to quickly find specific transactions or data types
- Detailed insights on the movement of data across various stages of business processes
- Alerts for data flow disruptions and process exceptions based on configurable business rules
- Trending and trend-line comparisons of B2B and A2A integrations and data over-time
- Data collaboration with internal and external partners through easy to share saved dashboards, reports and filters
- Encryption of sensitive payload data, for security reasons