At software and professional services companies, the leadership teams have to keep focused on their revenue and profit goals in order to succeed. This means relentlessly seeking new ways to provide value to customers, hiring the right employees, and keeping the rent paid on time.

However, the leadership team does not have the ability to keep track of everything. Usually, they rely on software products to help them keep their eye on the prize. These software products may include an application to track customer information (, eCommerce operations for web sales, project resource management software for resource management, and accounting software for score keeping.

Each of these products tends to be purchased and managed individually. Usually, this means that there is a separate application to perform the necessary functions and a separate database to track the data.

And therein lays the problem.  Separate Databases mean Data Fragmentation.

Data Fragementation can cause problems in your organization

Multiple Databases can create Data Fragmentation.
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Having separate databases can create a host of problems and challenges for the company including the following:

  1. Report Combinations – Let’s say you would like a report identifying the resources that have been involved on the most profitable projects. Any data combinations that attempt to mash up different aspects of the business into a single report cannot be generated directly. Instead, reports have to be run separately from both the accounting software and project resource management software, dropped into spreadsheet software, and finally mashed up. With separate databases, this ends up being a time consuming and complicated process.
  2. Data Duplications – Most software and professional services companies track customer contact information within a customer resource management system. However, customer contact information is also stored on the accounting system for billing purposes. This is actually duplicate information and any changes to one should to be mirrored in the other. Unfortunately, most companies are not that coordinated, resulting in frequent data fragmentation.
  3. Batch Updates – Even when information is synced across these different systems, it is not done in real time. Updates occur in batches, usually at the end of the day. This means late in the day, companies do not have the most up-to-date information to inform their decisions.  This information will not be updated until the batch job that night.
When running different project resource management software and accounting systems, you create a hariball

Multiple Databases create a database “Hairball”
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Luckily, NetSuite has solved the data fragmentation conundrum by creating a solution that combines ecommerce, project resource management software, and resource management software within a single database. In addition, they offer data tie-ins with software partners like  Salesforece’s databases can also be updated when NetSuite is updated. A system like NetSuite provides software companies and professional service companies the following advantage:

  • Single Database – With everything managed off of a single database, reports can be generated showing the effects of marketing on the income statement, profitability by project, utilization by resource, or any other combination you can think off. When all the information is on a single database, the sky really is the limit.
  • Dashboards – Another advantage of a single database over data fragmentation is one-glance visibility into the status of your business.
  • Automation – When everything is within a single database, tasks like revenue recognition can be automated.

At Bi101, we believe that a single database is the solution to the problems created by data fragmentation. If you want to learn more about this solution, please contact us.[subscribe2]