Businesses track costs closely. A savvy business owner or CFO knows exactly what it costs to deliver their product or service. They know the cost of office space, talent, phone and internet services, even advertising and marketing costs. However, few businesses track the costs of acquiring data.
How could this cost be overlooked? Data keeps the business running! Systems generate information and reports, messages are queued, and databases are populated. Despite the rise of web engagement and mobile devices, the brutal reality of the business world is that a large portion of outside data comes into our businesses on paper or electronic documents (PDF, etc).
The acquisition of that data comes at a significant cost to the organization. The question is, how much?
To determine your data costs, there are several factors to consider:
1. Where in the process is data captured?
The cost of data changes depending on what point in the business process it is captured and validated. Often, acquisition of data occurs on an “as needed” basis at the point of processing the transaction. Business best practices show that capturing all necessary data earlier in a business process provides significant benefits. On the other hand, data capturing costs increase later in the process.
2. How is data being captured?
When it comes to capturing data off of paper or in other non-accessible formats there are two primary methods: Key from Image (KFI) or automated data capture technologies. Not all KFI solutions are created equal. With KFI solutions, your company may be saddling some of your best talent with data entry work, which is an inefficient use of company resources. Building an automated data capture solution in tandem with KFI applications and your business systems can increase efficiencies and eliminate costs.
3. Where is the data used or needed in the business process?
…and does it arrive there automatically? Automated data capture technologies can automate the input of data, create look-ups and validations, and execute business rules. Often the burdens of managing tasks and document flow cost the business in other ways, including management effectiveness. With automated data capture, instead of managing the paperwork shuffle and assigning employees to tasks, managers can focus on throughput, accuracy, employee engagement, and business results. With the current methods of delivery, how often is your data seamlessly arriving in the right place at the right time?
With these questions in mind, how much is your data costing you? How could your business benefit from increased data capture accuracy, faster data delivery, higher employee productivity and advanced workflow and routing?