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What Data Sources Should You Use?

The quality of your business intelligence is only as good as your data sources. Are you confident that the data you are using is accurate, up to date, and specific?

Many businesses automatically assume that analytics should come from your accounting data, or the enterprise resource planning system (ERP). This is not a bad data source by any means, but you also should not limit yourself.

An ERP houses historical data, but not sales or order data, so it is not ideal for predicting future revenue or forecasting.

Your organization likely has many streams for data sources. Consider the following:

  • Your CRM – sales pipeline, sales forecasts, and more
  • Your manufacturing database
  • Your warehouse management
  • Your e-commerce system data
  • Human resources – salaries, compensations, bonuses, and employee data


These are just a few examples, but the outcome is the same — relying on just one data source is not necessarily what is best for your business.

That said, it is crucial that you establish a System of Record when you are selecting data sources. When you are integrating from multiple sources, you need to make sure that one source be the master system. Typically, the finance system can be a good choice for this. Maintaining a System of Record process will ensure that your revenue and account status fields aren’t affected by overwriting errors that could be risked during an integration.

Deciding on the right data sources for your business can often depend on your strategic goals. If you are looking to increase sales by 10% over the next year, you will likely need to put more focus onto measuring your CRM and e-commerce system data. If you want to reduce operational costs by 5% over the next quarter, you will likely need to measure manufacturing data, human resources data, and your financial system. It all depends on what you want to achieve.

When you are choosing your data sources it is also important to look at the quality of the data being entered. You want to make sure that the data being inputted is accurate and current. Many business software providers have automated data capture of the process so human error is limited.

With True Sky, for example, our structured data capture can eliminate errors in your budgeting process. It takes data in real-time and allows your employees to be more productive, focus more on analysis, and have better data accuracy.

Learn more about our data source solutions today. Call 1 855 878 3759 or visit