Modernizing Your Data Product Takes a Village
By Kristin Walker, Senior Program Manager at Infinite Technologies, Inc. (ITI)
Data is more important than ever. Proprietary documents, internal resources, employee statistics—the ever-expanding mountain of information that companies and government entities need in order to function and thrive can be a double-edged sword when it comes to the handling and management of data resources. Organizations need the right tools to streamline, protect and monitor their assets, but this can be an overwhelming and expensive task if not done properly.
As next year’s budgets are finalized, now is the time for executives and government representatives to solve for a wide spectrum of digital transformation difficulties, view their processes in a new way, and improve the accuracy of their budget executions.
Keep Accounting Accountable with Data Protection
When it comes to business intelligence, data is the crux of effective planning and budget forecasting. For entities like the Department of Defense, in particular, connecting that data to actionable insights is key to developing systems that protect the bottom line.
The technical nature of this sector and others like it requires more robust tools than the average enterprise. Augmenting the vast data stores with Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) algorithms are critical steps in modernizing data products. However, AI and ML can provide a false sense of confidence in that the models are only as valid as the information that is fed to them. Without model validation, this can result in potentially corrupt answers to what was already a challenging question.
As complex organizations continue to evolve, technical operational and decision-making solutions also need to evolve. The flat Excel sheet is subject to human error, is not conducive to robust collaboration, and limits transparency of data. With the proper use of data management techniques coupled with proven AI or ML, budgetary professionals are better able to manage funding with agility to meet mission priorities. In categories like defense, which carries a trillion-dollar budget, even the smallest miscalculation can result in extreme financial loss. Unfortunately, errors or mismanagement resulting in as little as one or two percent variation could equate to thousands or millions of dollars in spending on services or products that don’t align with or serve the organization’s mission.
A budget that was approved two years ago will not suffice in the current market landscape, and leaders should demand to see how budget dollars are spent. The right provider can wield large chunks of data to create pinpointed projections, prevent funding obfuscation, and ensure alignment with strategy and mission while empowering the organization to remain fluid.
The Wrong Team Can Be Costly
Finding the right team for the job is important, but it’s also expensive and tedious. Government departments must do an incredible amount of analysis and gather a wide range of bids before a contractor can even be considered. If the vendor hasn’t previously been vetted or retained by another government entity, the process becomes even more arduous.
The alternative, however, is even more costly. Currently, federal and government agencies spend 70 percent of their IT budgets supporting outdated legacy systems—a waste of both time and talent. An experienced technical partner can bring tailored solutions that outshine one-size-fits-all answers while also meeting the burden of cost-effectiveness.
Nimble, responsive, subject matter experts can elevate and modernize data management and troubleshoot unforeseen challenges in ways that traditional software simply cannot. Going with the right team, even if up-front costs appear greater, sets both private and publicly held organizations up for efficient, scalable and collaborative work that can prepare them during policy shifts and protect their bottom lines in 2024 and beyond.