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Don’t let merging data give you a data headache

You may have found yourself managing data from multiple systems. It could have been as a result of acquiring a new business or simply introducing a new marketing tool to your systems. But the challenge is still the same, how do you combine data to get an overall picture of how your company is performing?

There are a number of issues to consider. For one thing, not all businesses start and end their financial year on the same date – so the calendars may need to be aligned. For another, the sales and marketing customer account fields may not match – so how do you know you are comparing like with like? Then there’s the technical issue of importing data from one system to another. Ideally, you’ll want to do this automatically – as a manual process is lengthy, costly and notoriously prone to errors.

In short, if you want to integrate data from two separate companies or systems and get a reliable, single view of the truth, using a third-party specialist is probably your best option. That’s exactly what Stonegate Pub Company did when it acquired the Yates and Slug and Lettuce chains from Town and City.

A trusted partner
When Stonegate Pub Company wanted to integrate new data from the Yates and Slug and Lettuce chains into its existing reports, it turned to change++  for help. It knew we had both the expertise, and knowledge of the business, as Town and City’s old parent company had come to us with the same issue, when it had first acquired the Yates chain.

To solve the issue of aligning complex financial data from two different sources, we used IBM Cognos data cubes – part of IBM’s Cognos Enterprise suite. These are able to combine different types of information from a database into a single, multi-dimensional view – making it easy to interpret. In this way we collected data from both the Stonegate and Town and City finance systems and re-aligned it to give a single view across Stonegate’s entire estate.

Maximum speed, minimum disruption
Because of the speed with which this solution could be employed, Stonegate Pub Company was able to quickly and painlessly start seeing the performance of its new, merged company. Bringing the data together using IBM Cognos cubes also saved it the time and expense of importing historical data from old company systems. And as new data coming from the enlarged estate was now coming into the new IBM Cognos cubes, users were able to seamlessly carry on running their regular reports. Disruption was kept to a minimum.

By using a third party to help integrate the data from their new and existing businesses, Stonegate Pub Company was able to avoid the headache of integrating data from its new and existing businesses, and quickly start seeing accurate and reliable results.

Learn more about out how change++ can help with your business reporting needs.