Why Large Service Organizations Should Focus on Data Governance For Time Tracking To Drive Business Growth?
Intelligent data governance around time tracking drives business value, supports improved decision making processes and leads to transformation. Yet, the fact remains that existing data governance methods around time tracking are broken. There is an increasing need for 100% real-time, accurate data but governing that data has never been more complex. This is underlined by a McKinsey survey in which respondents said that 30% of total enterprise time was being spent on non-value-added tasks due to poor data quality and availability. Organizations are realizing that disparate and/or manual approaches as used in the past are no longer sustainable for the hybrid digital future.
Without centralized data governance, organizations face a multitude of risks. For time tracking, using manual methods or multiple systems leads to a fragmentation of employee experience, poor data management and an overlap of multiple time systems. Capturing time becomes a tedious task and hampers productivity. It also limits reporting capabilities and prevents organizations from getting a global view of employee time information. As the way employees work evolves, data governance must also evolve with it.
The Evolution of Data Governance
For large services organizations, data governance can be a bigger challenge than they realize. As they operate across multiple global locations, serving a multitude of clients, and have complex internal structures, there are increasing challenges around regulatory compliance, privacy and security needs.
Moreover, with the increasing number of government and industry led time tracking and labor compliance measures such as Sarbanes-Oxley, FLSA and GDPR, data governance can no longer be treated as an option. Data security, privacy and compliance are all dependent on data governance, making it a strategic necessity for an organization’s digital journey.
Some of the biggest brands today have already experienced the issues that come with poor data governance around time and labor compliance. Organizations like Wells Fargo and Uber have faced time and labor lawsuits that resulted in millions of dollars in settlement fees and an erosion of invaluable client trust.
Increasing media attention to breaches as well as new regulations have made it critical for organizations to prioritize data security, privacy and labor compliance. Organizations, no matter their size, need to proactively address these concerns through trategic data governance. Intelligent data governance also leads to increased transparency and accountability around critical business processes which can reduce concerns around financial and labor compliance.
In addition to security and privacy compliance concerns, data governance can help transform raw time data into useful knowledge to serve the organization. Through the evolution of intelligent time data governance, organizations gain insights and information that support innovations and improve customer experience in addition to other benefits.
Why Does It Matter?
Data governance is no longer a simple IT exercise. Understanding where your data comes from, what it represents and how to use it appropriately allows you to create actionable insights for driving significant transformation. The fact is that large professional services firms leverage data in different ways but all of that must be connected under a single system. In addition to centralizing the data, it must also be standardized across the organization for it to be reusable and utilized correctly.
Take a large professional services firm that executes more than 400 projects in a year. Every day, hundreds of employees fill in timesheets and mark time data against projects and tasks. They need to track all their employee billable time to submit all their client invoices. But due a decentralized data governance model, their timesheet tracking is limited which delays their time-to-revenue process. By centralizing all the data and applying standardized governance, the organization stands to gain granular control over projects and resources.
Data governance also leads to a breakdown in information silos and kickstarts a transformation towards a more agile data-driven organization. With it, you can formulate strategies to take advantage of time data as an enterprise asset. This leads to increased project profitability as you can make the most efficient use of resources and time for successful project execution.
How One Large Enterprise Tackled Their Data Governance Challenges for Time Tracking
Consider a multinational organization that has innumerable projects going on simultaneously across the world at any given time. Using home grown or excel driven time tracking could require weeks to report all the time data and it is harder to govern all the data generated across all these systems. They ended up having 20+ time tracking systems to comply with the rules and regulations in different countries and their ecosystem had overlapping systems which affected their latency in getting real-time information on their employee time spent across all their projects.
Switching to a cloud-based time tracking platform allowed the organization to leverage advanced functionalities to enhance governance over the data. Not only was the data entry process automated but also they had real-time visibility and accuracy of the data, which they did not have earlier due to a fragmented ecosystem. It became easier for the business leaders to gain access to the right information, leading to higher project profitability and delivering projects on time and on budget.
Previously, the organization had to involve several people for analyzing invoices. They needed several weeks from the time that invoices were received to get chargebacks to the right places. With the cloud-based platform, that time has been reduced to a single day. Now, the organization has granular visibility into not only what work is being done but also the duration of the work and the resources involved. There is no need to manually extract the data as the system does the heavy lifting for them.
The centralized information about the resources and projects also helps in improving the organization’s ability to plan. As noted by the organization’s Director of IT Portfolio Management & Governance.
“We can build a use case for capital funding, build cost estimates based on historical information, and measure actuals against budgets to manage projects, and make proactive decisions if we’re going over budget. Our forecast accuracy is so much higher, and because of that so is the level of confidence with our information.”
At the end of the day, the success of an organization should not be measured by the amount of data it collects. Rather, success is about how well they use the data they have. Adopting data governance as a part of their business allows organizations to leverage data intelligently and use it to scale new heights of success.
Do you want to understand the advantages of unifying enterprise time tracking for your organization? Sign up for our time tracking workshop tailored to your organization’s unique needs.