Operations managers need to connect their back office data from sources such as Microsoft SharePoint, to multiple applications both on premises and in the cloud.
Back office operations don’t always get their deserved attention because they function out of view of the customer. In this four-part blog series, we’ll discover how data connectivity and back office functions go hand in hand.
Operations teams handle a range of tasks including audits and compliance, tracking and meeting customer needs, managing vendor relationships, and streamlining employee productivity. Backend operations software must allocate and track all these resources, as well as streamline and automate processes. These back office operations are prime candidates for data-driven improvements.
Whether tracking employee productivity in your dashboards or working through compliance audits, it's important to have accurate and up-to-date data flowing from all of your sources. How can operations managers connect data from multiple applications, both on-premises and in the cloud?
Using industry standard programming interfaces, applications can share data back and forth to enable centralized configuration management, or control security roles across multiple applications, or to share data between application storage repositories. Implementing application connections can improve productivity, streamline data management, and automate internal processes. By linking your query tools to additional applications, and linking applications to each other, operations managers can improve automation, expand standard capabilities and derive more value from existing tools.
While sharing data between tools is a necessity, the fear of exposing customer and employee data in a data breach makes security a top priority for IT, human resources, and many other teams. That fear can also prevent the use of data that should be accessible within operations teams. Some may feel that it’s easier to deny access to data than it is to secure that data in transit. Unfortunately, locking operations users out of data they need to do their jobs can result in blind spots, an incomplete picture of the business, and mistakes in decision-making.
There are many repositories for operational data and many of them have tools for data analysis. For example, using performance management tools can help you measure employee productivity and SLA adherence. This type of operational data may be stored in a repository such as Microsoft SharePoint, where the Service Level Dashboard displays information on your Service Level Agreements.
But to get the most from your company-wide dashboards and reporting tools, it’s necessary to connect your SharePoint data with external applications. A robust set of data connectors is necessary to link your operational data to the rest of your corporate business systems. Without accurate connectors, lack of access to applications and data in place results in the need to move data manually or rely on stale data transferred by periodic warehousing processes. At worst, lack of connectivity to real-time data risks omitting business-critical data from operational visibility.
Progress DataDirect ODBC, JDBC, and OData connectors and drivers provide the standard access layer necessary across business applications for fast accessibility to real-time data across onsite data centers and applications, or cloud storage and tools.
Joelle Andrews is a Product Marketing Manager focused on Progress Customer Care. Joelle’s past experience includes two years with the DataDirect team and a decade of experience in other product marketing, marketing automation, and sales roles. Outside of work, Joelle loves hiking, getting lost in a book, rescuing cats, and traveling the world.
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