The overlooked admin challenge costing $140 billion per year

Universal truth: your organisation is losing money due to mishandled data. From unintegrated systems, to manual copy-pasting, to clerical errors and oversights, data is a constant drain on operational resources.

The data admin challenge might seem like a minor inconvenience only. Something that’s admittedly annoying down at the micro-level of daily data entry, but not all that damaging from a high-level perspective.

In reality, this supposition is financially punitive. Data – and more specifically, disconnected data – is costing $140 billion per annum. We’re not talking a petty admin challenge. We’re talking a widening tear through which efficiency, productivity, and profitability are in continuous freefall.

Data is a constant drain on operational resources.

A look at the numbers

First, it’s important to understand the scale of the data disconnection problem. You’ll find hundreds of studies and reports that highlight the financial losses wreaked by poor, misused, or inaccessible data. Here’s a sample from just some of these works.

  • Organisations in the US and UK are losing $140 billion each year in wasted time and resources, duplication of effort, and missed opportunities as a result of disconnected data – SnapLogic
  • For individual organisations, the financial impact of poor data quality averages out at $15 million per year – Gartner
  • At the macro level, bad data is estimated to cost the US alone more than $3 trillion per year – Gartner
  • 60% of all business data is held on PC desktops and laptops and is not commonly backed up – IDC
  • 76% of organisations have data trapped in legacy systems – Vanson Bourne
  • IT decision makers waste 2 hours daily looking for relevant data – Veritas
  • The cost of human error is costing businesses in the US and UK £315 per employee per year – IDC
  • Data workers waste 50% of their time finding and correcting errors – HBR
  • 19% of businesses had lost a customer by using inaccurate or incomplete information – Dun & Bradstreet

Wherever you look, you’ll find the same damning message: data mismanagement is a costly financial burden. And one of the costliest factors – data disconnection – also happens to be an easily solvable admin challenge.

Disconnected data

So, we already know that disconnected data comes at a calculated cost of $140 billion. But why is the problem so prevalent? It all comes down to the ‘point solution’ problem.

Technology stacks are mushrooming in every modern workplace. You likely have a useful point solution in place to answer almost every business need, across every business team. CRMs, payment systems, databases, help desks, project management platforms, email services, analytics suites, HR systems, scheduling tools, document storage services, business intelligence platforms… the list of services we use to handle our daily workload is endless. The average enterprise, in fact, uses 1295 cloud services.

How many services do you use to handle your daily workload?

Unfortunately, for every new point solution you accumulate, you also add to a growing point pollution problem.

To paraphrase George Bronten, mounting up disparate solution after disparate solution is analogous to using disposable plastic bags. While the bag solves the immediate problem and has a clear use, it also adds to larger environmental problems further down the line.

Deeper data environment problems

As your technology stack expands, it becomes increasingly difficult to create cohesion. Data siloes, then, are a natural by-product of the many-headed hydra that is today’s tech stack.

To get data from System A into System B, you have to manually copy-paste it. Perhaps System C can integrate with System D, but you also need to loop in System E which doesn’t have an API. System F has a SQL backend, while System G uses a non-relational database – making a data merge between the two problematic. Then, System H is a legacy program that doesn’t integrate into modern tools without custom programming. System I, meanwhile, won’t export data as a JSON file. System J has just been retired, and you need to pull all your data into System K as part of a vast project. And so on, ad infinitum.

Data siloes are a natural by-product of the many-headed hydra that is today’s tech stack.

The problem with adding point solution after point solution is that your technology suite becomes a tangled mishmash – each with its own hoard of data. Sharing and syncing that data becomes a mammoth (and typically impossible) admin challenge.

Your employees have to engage in repetitive manual work – or complex tech projects – to move data from system to system. And even with their efforts, you’re still left with volumes of data that sits in siloes. All confused within a myriad of disparate processes, across a myriad of disparate applications.

Solving the data admin challenge

The answer to this problem of data siloes and uncooperative systems is obvious: automation. But rather than yet another point solution designed to handle basic A-B data dumps, you need a more sophisticated platform that can act as a central API hub and data distribution centre.

For example, a system like ThinkAutomation can sit at the heart of your business operations. It can talk to any system with an API (as well as offering a fully featured code-editor for custom scripts). From there, you can plug in any number of data sources and set up ThinkAutomation to process and push data to any number of endpoints. All with endless automations to process and respond to data conditionally.

ThinkAutomation enables quick, continuous movement of data around your tech stack

This enables the quick, continuous movement of data around your technology ecosystem – no matter how vast. In turn, you solve a wealth of data-related admin challenges.

Firstly, and most obviously, automation removes the need for employees to retrieve, update and upload data by hand. (Or by mouse, as it were.) But this also reduces costly human error and plugs a colossal resource drain. Your organisation saves time, labour and money on a scale that is difficult to calculate.

And in terms of new potential, automating the flow of data seamlessly in the background is an enormous business intelligence boost. There’s no slow data decay in legacy systems. No data locked into a silo. No need to rely on bit part reports that show only a narrow view of the broader data picture.

Connecting your various data streams means unlocking new insights and increasing the shared value of your data.

Stop losing money to a basic admin challenge

As organisations scale, technology service after technology service creates silo after silo. Data is abundant, but also abundantly scattered. And this disconnected data is costing businesses billions.

Yet the admin challenge that is moving data around the modern tech stack is smaller and more surmountable than it may first seem. With a sophisticated automation platform – not a simpler tool only capable of one-way data pushes and the most basic of workflows – you can keep your systems integrated and in continuous communication.

And this solution is substantially cheaper than $140 billion per year. To automate your data movement for around $8 per day, download ThinkAutomation today.