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The Importance of Data Harmonization for Beverage Alcohol Brands

The ability to analyze and derive valuable insights from data is essential for effective business strategies. However, this can quickly become complicated when data is scattered across different silos, each with its own format and nomenclature. Data harmonization has become a key strategy for exceeding past the obstacle of fragmented data in the beverage alcohol industry.

Forrester Research has found that low-quality data in enterprise systems robs business leaders of productivity as they must continuously vet and ensure its accuracy.

What is Data Harmonization?

Data harmonization is the process of transforming data from multiple sources into a consistent, standardized, and accurate format. This ensures that the data is not only clean and of high quality but also easily consumable and ready for analysis. Data harmonization creates a composite, homogeneous data set containing only high-quality data cleared of errors and duplicates. This is a relatively new approach in data analytics and visualization which aims at creating a single source of truth that facilitates informed decision-making.

The Benefits of Data Harmonization

  1. Internal and External Language Compatibility: Data harmonization delivers data in a way that aligns with both internal and external requirements. This means that your data is not only suitable for your internal analysis but also for external vendors and partners, reducing data-related complexities.

  2. Creating Hierarchies: Hierarchies are essential for gaining a comprehensive view of your data. Data harmonization creates consistent hierarchies across all data sources, making it easier to analyze data at different levels of granularity.

  3. Granularity for Decision-Making: While data is harmonized for consistency, it still retains the granularity required for making critical business decisions. This ensures that you have access to the level of detail needed to take action.

The Data Harmonization Process

Step 1: Aligning Data with Master Data Management

The first step in data harmonization involves standardizing data and creating hierarchies using a master list. This master list becomes the single source of truth, providing a standardized language for various data elements, including product labels, categories, time periods, geographies, currencies, channels, and more. Data harmonization uses master data to align data both within and across data sources.

Step 2: Building an Aggregate Information Model

Once the data is harmonized, an aggregate information model is created. This model provides hierarchies for each data type, allowing for a big-picture view as well as detailed insights, all in a consistent format. Metrics can be aggregated for different attributes, enabling you to derive future analysis metrics and pre-calculate essential insights, detecting anomalies and trends swiftly.

The Risks of Not Harmonizing Data

Without data harmonization, you risk having an inaccurate picture of your business's performance. It becomes challenging to roll up data for macro-level insights or break it down for detailed analysis. Most critically, you might miss opportunities and overlook threats due to unorganized, disparate data. Inaccurate decisions, reporting, and potential loss of market share could be the consequences.

An Investment with Ongoing Benefits

Data harmonization is an investment that yields continuous benefits. Master data can be leveraged across various departments, harmonizing data consistently and improving with incremental updates. This centralized source of truth simplifies processes, eliminates the need for expensive and inconsistent departmental systems, and enhances data accuracy.

Best Practices in Data Harmonization

  • Leveraging Automation: Data harmonization is typically a mix of automated and manual efforts, with the goal of automating as much as possible using AI to reduce errors and speed up insights.

  • Creating Future-Ready Models: Data harmonization should consider future plans as well as immediate needs.

  • Industry Expertise: Partner with experts who offer deep industry knowledge to streamline the process.

  • No-Code Environment: Consider solutions that allow data analysts to harmonize data directly, reducing the need for extensive coding.

Data harmonization opens the path to clean, consistent, and actionable data for beverage alcohol businesses. By ensuring that data is aligned, standardized, and structured, it allows for the most accurate and accelerated insights.

For more insights on data harmonization and how it empowers business success, continue reading the InfoSource Blog or connect with us on LinkedIn. At InfoSource, we're committed to helping beverage alcohol brands unlock the full potential of their data.