Many forward-thinking organizations today are commissioning digital transformation projects which seek to integrate digital technology across an organization’s entire IT ecosystem. Done correctly, an organization would be able to extract many operational efficiencies in the new environment while building a competitive advantage and enhancing the user experience by providing a more unified and holistic gateway to core applications.
Before an organization launches any digital transformation project, it should recognize that project success will be driven largely by how well the underlying data is consolidated and made available for consumption by applications. If the data is not synced and compatible across databases, administrators will need to resort to manual, labor-intensive reporting tasks using spreadsheets that can expose human error. Therefore, it is a best practice to begin a digital transformation project by tackling data requirements first. There will be significant benefits to the organization once the data is integrated because manual tasks will be able to be automated and employees will be enabled to focus on higher-value tasks.
Digital and data transformation projects begin with an internal audit that canvasses all IT assets to get a fundamental snapshot of how data is being captured, stored, and repurposed. This represents the current state of data flow within the organization. To facilitate this exercise, the organization will need to consider current businesses processes and workflows, and then assess data entry and exit points within applications. With the completion of the audit, the organization can then make an informed strategic plan based on it’s understanding of the data.
The data modernization journey can clearly yield tangible and measurable financial and operational benefits to any organization as noted above. Given that these initiatives are truly transformative, it’s incumbent on the organization to carefully review the qualifications of a data modernization consulting partner to ensure that a competent partner is selected who can guarantee success. Therefore, to undertake a data transformation project with internal resources only or to select an ineffective partner is tantamount to putting the organization’s entire data at risk.
ACI Infotech is a US-based business transformation strategic consultant and systems integrator with several notable data transformation projects delivered to reputable higher education clients. The following two case studies highlight the innovative solutions ACI implemented.
ACI Infotech was hired by a university to lead a large-scale data transformation project in which a robust data architecture was implemented to enable the university to become a data driven organization.
Specifically, ACI was tasked to ingest ERP data (i.e. Banner, Access DBs, Excel datasets) along
with data from external systems and unstructured sources (i.e. logs, social media, IoT, etc.,) into a data lake so that a consolidated view of the enterprise data could facilitate analytics and reporting initiatives. The resulting modern data architecture would allow the business users to perform strategic, tactical and operational reporting by doing multi-dimensional analysis on the data combined from disparate data sources across the enterprise.
A university with a lack of data integration across mission critical applications, absence of a centralized architecture view, and poorly defined workflows hired ACI Infotech to lead a data transformation project.
The project produced substantial benefits to the university whereby it was now able to access
critical data in an expedited manner, achieve enhanced reliance and accuracy on business intelligence reporting, and realize superior query and system performance.