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Concurrent Engineering Blog

Why siloed data in industrial enterprise doesn’t work

Posted by Concurrent Engineering on 11-Oct-2021 10:15:00

Today’s business challenges require cross-functional collaboration, which means the end for siloed systems. Let’s find out more.

In the past, departments in enterprise organizations would purchase their own software systems to solve their business problems. For example, the finance function would buy accounting software, while the product team would get a design package. This worked well for many years, but today, it is redundant.

To address today’s challenges, functions in enterprise organizations need to collaborate, sharing knowledge, and working together on solutions. Data is the critical resource for success in this new world, but if software systems are siloed, unable to share data, organizations will never achieve their goals.

In this article, we’ll look at three data problems that siloed systems create – and how you can solve them.


1 – Unavailable data

When data is siloed in specific functions, it is challenging for other functions to access it when needed. Often, people outside of the function where the data is stored won’t even know that the data exists, let alone how to access it and use it to their advantage.

Companies now collect vast amounts of data throughout the lifecycle of the product. However, if that data is only used by specific functions, whether it’s product, marketing, finance, or anything else, you could be missing out on a wide range of benefits.

Organizations must take steps to be more transparent within themselves. Keep data within your organization, but make it available to any department that wants to use it.


2 – Inaccurate data

Often when data is siloed inside functions, instances occur where the same information is duplicated on multiple systems. This is because although the data is siloed in one function, another will need to use it, so they will recreate it themselves.

Of course, when this happens, things get lost in translation. People make errors, or more likely, situations change. Eventually, you have multiple sources of truth, each claiming to be the most accurate example of the same data point. How do you know which one is right?

When these issues arise, it can take a lot of time to resolve, as well as conflict between functions that are supposed to be on the same side.


3 – Data inefficiency

When the essential data in your organization is siloed, you can’t run at full efficiency. For example, when other functions try to recreate data, as mentioned in the section above, it’s a duplication of work. Team members should be driving the organization forwards, not doing the same work that someone else has already done. It’s also a drag on productivity to correct the errors inherent in manually recreating data.

As well as not getting the most out of your people, siloing your data in this way also means you’re not using your data to its full potential. Data enables your teams to improve in every area, but without data transparency between functions, you’ll never be all you can be.


The solution

All the problems caused by data silos can be remedied by what we call ‘digital thread’. Digital thread allows you to create an integrated approach to data, with organization-wide access, sharing, and collaboration.

Digital thread closes the loop between an organization’s digital and physical activities, creating data continuity across all functions in the business. When each function has access to the data they need, you can enhance your processes, improve your product and get the most from your people.

With digital thread, you achieve seamless transfer of data - no more duplication of work, fewer errors, and one single source of truth. Then, you can address today’s unique business challenges and drive your organization forward.


Click the button below to download the guide to Weaving Quality into the Digital Thread


Digital Thread Guide