Finance pro working on his laptop with single source of truth data source icons floating overtop it.
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What Is Single Source of Truth and What Are Its Benefits?

November 21, 2022 Marisa Iacobucci  
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Every organization uses data. 

Financial professionals arguably manage the most sensitive data in the world—the information involving someone's personal and financial identity. That's why these companies especially need to consider adopting the single source of truth methodology.

What is a single source of truth (SSOT)? Let's take a moment to review what it is and how implementing SSOT principles to your data collection and storage will benefit your business. 

💡 Key Takeaways:

  • Single source of truth refers to the philosophy that an organization must have a central repository for data storage, collection and analysis.
  • Benefits of SSOT include better data for decision making, less time searching for correct data and overall increased productivity.
  • Boost your team's productivity, ensure data security and increase transparency for stakeholders, employees and the public using the SSOT methodology.
  • The principles of SSOT determine that all data should be reliable and consistent, accessible to all who need it and updated promptly.

What Is Single Source of Truth (SSOT)?


                                                                                                 Source: YouTube   

SSOT is a philosophy for data collection, storage and analysis within an organization that then aggregates that information into central repositories. Extrapolating data from a single source increases the accuracy of statements, budgetary forecasting and various other FP&A reports. 

A search engine is the most common use of the SSOT methodology. Software programs, databases, platforms and websites are other common examples of how the SSOT philosophy works. A digital experience platform (DXP) is an excellent single source of truth.

Depending on the information you are looking to obtain, your SSOT could be any of the items listed above. It could also include (but is not limited to):

  • Cloud-based applications
  • E-commerce sites
  • Dashboards
  • CRMs
  • CMS
  • ERPs
  • Financial systems
  • Document management systems 
  • DevOps programs

    Infographic of a single source of truth

                                                                                             Source: HubSpot

Top 4 Benefits of SSOT  

When your organization employs the SSOT methodology, they prosper from these four benefits:  

1. Obtain the Right Information at the Right Time

Stop hunting for data.

Next to revenue, information is the lifeblood of any organization. When that information spreads across the organization in multiple databases, you get data silos. They are a nightmare for anyone responsible for data collection and reporting.

Implementing SSOT principles ensures that your company has the information to make effective business decisions. It also gives them the confidence to take action on an account or with a client knowing they have all the correct information when needed. 

2. Spend Less Time Identifying Correct Data

Poor data quality costs companies $15 million a year. Roughly 20% of lost business is due to inaccurate data. SSOT reduces the amount of bad data because data accuracy is a key principle of this methodology. 

When all your organization's data is in one location, error-free data is readily available. 

You have billable hours to worry about. Don't waste time making sure you have the right information. Feel confident knowing that the data you need is available, accurate and only a few clicks away.

3. Increase Your Team's Productivity

Your teams are more productive when information is readily available, easy to access and straightforward to analyze. A central database allows you to obtain the most up-to-date information whenever you need it without wasting time searching.

4. Ensure Data Security

Data repositories not only ensure the accuracy and availability of data. It also guarantees data security. A cybercrime occurs once every 39 seconds

Having a central database with state-of-the-art security technology ensures that you, your firm and your clients don't fall victim to a cyber attack due to your company's approach to data storage.

SSOT also ensures data compliance with the strict regulations surrounding an organization's data collection, management and storage.  

Principle of SSOT Software    

There are three basic principles of SSOT:

Infograph of the principles of single source of truth

Reliable and Consistent

When your organizations apply the SSOT methodology and work to move your data into one central repository, the integration must ensure the reliability and consistency of the data.

For instance, if multiple users can add new clients to the database, you'll want to ensure that the system flags duplicate entries. If the client gets entered twice, there is no way of knowing whether you are viewing the most accurate and up-to-date information about that client. 

Data from their last interactions with someone from your office could be in either location in your database. That data will be incomplete when you filter data for insights and reporting.

Accessible

Accuracy is as vital as those who have access. Let's use the example above again. Imagine you have two clerks who enter data into your system, but neither have access to uploaded documents (because of the sensitive nature of the information included).  

One clerk earns a promotion and now needs access to documentation within client files to do their job. However, the admin never upgraded the clerk's permissions and now they can't do their job because no one granted access. 

Reports do not get filed, deadlines become overdue and clients are less than pleased. Lack of access is as detrimental as inconsistent data. 

Up to Date

The final principle is one of the most essential in finance. Financial information is extremely fluid and can change (literally) at any moment. Waiting to update data in your system can make that information obsolete by the time it makes its way into a budget, report or statement.

Where the Finance Finds Its Single Source of Truth  

Accountants, CPAs, and other finance professionals spend approximately 2.5 hours working billable hours each day, meaning that the work you do during non-billable hours needs to be as productive and your time well managed. Having a reliable SSOT makes obtaining the data you need as straightforward as possible. 

With Vena, you can collect, store and analyze your data to make well-informed decisions for your organization and your clients. Harness the power of Excel and get the information you need from one central location.

VenaPreview_1200x700
=Sum(it) Up with Vena's SSOT

Powered by Excel, let Vena Complete Planning be your company's single source of truth with numbers you can trust. 

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