Most organisations are already familiar with the concept of infrastructure monitoring. The IT infrastructure is monitored to ensure systems, applications, services and business processes are functioning properly, thus allowing remediation to be taken as soon as problems are detected. Data monitoring applies those same principles to an organisation’s data.

Proactively monitoring the quality, flow and accuracy of data within an organisation provides an immediate awareness of data anomalies and the operational threats those anomalies pose. Flagship Insight not only identifies potential issues but immediately alerts those individuals within the organisation that are best placed to resolve them, providing them with details of the issue and supplying the information needed to determine the “next best actions” for resolving and mitigating the issue before they affect business processes, end-users or customers.

Flagship Insight can bring significant benefits to your organisation including:

Control, Reassurance and Peace of Mind

Flagship Insight brings the reassurance that comes with knowing:

  • Proactive, scheduled monitoring of the flow, quality and accuracy of data within the organisation ensures early detection of potential issues.
  • A process exists whereby regular ‘housekeeping’ and ‘sanity’ checks are automatically executed and notifications sent when action is required.
  • Skills and expertise, both business and technical, have been captured in executable, reusable Test Templates that can provide actionable insights based on data within the organisation.
  • A process exists whereby the IT support team can take ownership of issues and an escalation process exists if those issues are not handled in a timely fashion.

Improved Visibility of Data Issues

  • Greater visibility of failures, the area of the business affected, and their management ensures issues can be prioritised by business impact and addressed quickly and efficiently.
  • A transparent ‘Ownership’ process allows immediate identification of Test failures under investigation preventing duplication of effort across the IT support teams.
  • Test failure trends over time can allow plans to be made to address trouble spots and resolve recurring issues.

Improved Productivity and Support Processes

Flagship Insight can become the hub of a robust support process that will help your business and support teams to work more efficiently by:

  • Reducing the time spent identifying data issues and the knock-on effect of those issues.
  • Reducing the time from issue detection to resolution.
  • Allowing action plans to be created to deal with ‘foreseeable’ problems.
  • Automating time consuming manual monitoring tasks.
  • Implementing business and support escalation processes for tests that repeatedly fail.
  • Assisting development and support teams to get the best return on support budget by identifying frequently occurring problems with interfaces and integration touch points, and flagging them as candidates for further development.

Improved Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Whether your customer is a business group within your organisation or an individual shopping on your web site, being aware of issues and resolving them before they impact that customer greatly improves user satisfaction and retention rates.

When a business process breaks because of a data issue, what is the impact? Is an order lost; is a customer dissatisfied or worse, lost? Proactively monitoring data across your organisation can ensure that data issues are identified and actions taken before those issues affect business processes, end-users or customers.

Improved Data Quality

Flagship Insight can be configured to continuously check for data quality issues such as address records without a post code, missing data that is mandatory in downstream applications, outdated or duplicated data.

Regularly and proactively monitoring data quality can bring significant benefits to businesses including improvements in productivity, competitiveness and customer retention as well as reduced risk. Ted Friedman, vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner’s Information Management team talked about How to Measure the Cost of Data Quality Problems in a recent interview.

Examples of Flagship Insight Data Monitoring

The following is a small selection of real-world scenarios which illustrate some of the benefits of proactively monitoring data using Flagship Insight.

Business Problem: If a retail replenishment process fails, stores may run low or out of stock resulting in empty shelves and lost sales.

  • Flagship Insight Test: Check the store replenishment data required by the process has arrived at the expected time.
  • Flagship Insight Actions On Test Failure:
    • Retrieve previous day’s store sales information and email that information to the Merchandising team.
    • Alert the IT support team to the problem including available error information to aid their investigation of the issue.
    • Alert the warehouse team to possible delays in the process.
  • Business Benefit: A manual replenishment can be created based on the previous day’s store sales information.

Business Problem: there is a risk of losing or duplicating data, importing poor quality data or replicating poor quality data across integrated systems during a data integration or migration project.

  • Flagship Insight Tests: Checks for data quality issues such as, address records without a post code, missing data that is mandatory in downstream applications, outdated or duplicated data.
  • Flagship Insight Actions On Test Failure:
    • Retrieve the full record(s) containing the invalid data and email that information to the team responsible for that data.
    • Alert the IT support team to the problem to allow them to mitigate any knock-on effect.
  • Business Benefit During a data migration project, using Flagship Insight to regularly vet your organisation's data enables the business to:
    • Identify and remove data issues that could cause migration or integration projects to fail.
    • Prepare data for migration in a manageable, controlled and iterative way in the run-up to UAT and go-live.
    • Set up a series of data quality checks once that will automatically incorporate new and modified data in the monitoring process. This becomes particularly relevant for long running migration projects where data is changing in the time leading up to the go-live.

Business Problem: If there are delays in processing the queue of website orders in a multi-channel retail environment, those orders may be delayed or at worst, not fulfilled. Meanwhile, warehouse stock levels do not reflect the unprocessed website orders, potentially resulting in delayed or unfulfilled orders across other channels.

  • Flagship Insight Test: Check the size of the web orders message queue (MSMQ) on a regular basis to ensure it is within an expected range.
  • Flagship Insight Actions On Test Failure:
    • Alert the IT support team to the problem including the web message queue count and any error information that will assist their investigation.
    • Retrieve the detailed web orders information from the website database and include that information in the alert email sent to the IT support team.
    • Alert the warehouse manager to possible delays in the process including the number of delayed orders yet to be processed by the Distribution Centre (DC) team.
  • Business Benefit: Early warning allows the business to:
    • Minimise delays to customer orders.
    • Minimise the back log to be handled by the warehouse/DC
    • Avoid compounding the initial problem through over-allocation of stock.