Are you aware that over half of all business leaders admit they struggle to use data effectively for critical operational and strategic decision-making? More data than ever before is generated, collected, and analysed, yet unlocking its value is not an easy task for many organisations.

HR and Finance departments are prime examples. They don’t have access to the data insights they need, so oftentimes they clash – particularly on staffing. CFOs view employees as a cost, while HR sees them as investments. What’s more, if there’s a money problem, Finance takes the blame. If there’s a people issue, HR is the problem. In reality, operational efficiency doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Data can tell a compelling story, and when departments collaborate, leaders can make better data-driven decisions with confidence. And when HR and Finance work in harmony, they reach higher levels of performance and profitability.

 

The problem with data silos

Without company-wide visibility into data, it’s difficult or even impossible for leaders to make data-driven decisions outside of departmental bubbles. This challenge is especially transparent in verticals like healthcare, where information silos and lack of access to timely data impede operations and increase risk for patients and providers.

For example, HR requires operational data to control hospital staffing efficiency, evaluate labour costs, analyse performance compensation, enable benefit and payroll forecasting, and get a holistic view of total rewards from disparate sources. Finance needs data to rapidly assess budgets, forecast bottlenecks, plan cost reductions, and identify trends for improved financial decisions and strategic incentives. Both departments need to be able to access, understand, and apply operational data to improve organizational dynamics and align to a common vision.

Healthcare organisations also offer evidence into how data collaboration between clinical operations and HR/Finance impact business performance. Risk has risen while resource capacity has shrunk, for instance, especially within public sector healthcare. At an operational level, they’re experiencing significant challenges in maintaining and improving service delivery. And for patients, a lack of data collaboration impacts care. Add to this, specialists often aggregate data in silos, and they’re stuck with the highly unproductive task of switching back and forth between different systems and technologies.

More and more, data guides decision-making­ and helps answer difficult questions across organisations. If you want to reduce complexity, for example, should you invest more in technology or skilled workers? To retain top talent, should you offer a bonus plan or better benefits? These types of initiatives are nearly impossible to get approved without a collaborative approach and a strong business case backed by data.

 

Breaking out of the bubble

With patient outcomes being a huge focus right now, data collaboration across healthcare organizations can help hospital administrators find the right balance between technology and staff to address capacity, safety, quality, and wait-time challenges that plague this industry. In fact, many healthcare organisations are now using data ‘command centres’  to improve operational efficiency – allowing HR, Finance, and hospital staff to quickly share data and leverage real-time insights to make fast decisions and save lives.

Of course, healthcare is not the be-all and end-all – data collaboration is not only paramount for this industry, it’s a necessity for businesses of all shape and sizes. In fact, Gartner research shows that organizations can increase gross profit margins by 4% and save roughly $12 million for every $1 billion in revenue through taking a leadership position in workforce analytics.

 

How can you take the lead with Acumen?

At Acumen, we’re experienced in providing valuable insights using HR, Finance, and operational data to improve business outcomes. Our expert consultants are ready to partner with you across all aspects of your business to identify data silos and break down barriers to collaboration using world-class cloud analytics and business intelligence solutions. Hundreds of New Zealand businesses operate with unparalleled visibility delivered by Qlik. Acumen consultants are experts at uncovering valuable insights not previously accessible.

 

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