Can You Afford Multiple Versions of the Truth?

Companies complain that they can’t implement the technology that would enable a single version of truth because they can’t afford it. They believe this technology is too expensive to do them any good.

However, what these businesses neglect to consider is the cost of not putting a single version of the truth in place. Read on to discover the expensive risks you take when you’ve got multiple versions of the truth.

Risk 1: The Wrong Data

When more than one version of the truth exists within an organization, at least one of those versions will contain errors. One error here or there might not seem like such a big deal, but they can cost your firm a great deal of money.

A 2013 Gartner study showed that data quality issues cost businesses $14 million per year. Even if your company has that kind of money lying around, there are much better ways to spend it (such as reinvesting it into your business so it can be more profitable).

Risk 2: A Toxic Work Culture

While multiple versions of the truth aren’t the only cause of a toxic work culture, they certainly contribute to it. More than one version of the truth leads employees not to trust each other, and that lack of faith in one another has costly consequences.

Employees in a toxic work environment tend to disengage from their work. That means that they either don’t show up to the office or they simply don’t do a good job. A less productive worker might sound like more of an irritation than a major problem, but it’s actually quite serious. A Gallup study showed that actively disengaged employees cost their companies 34% of their salaries. Let’s say that Sam is making $60,000 per year. His disengagement is worth over $20,000 to his employer. Again, that’s money that would be better spent elsewhere.

Risk 3: Indecisiveness

It’s better to not make a decision at all than the wrong decision, right? No one wants to look foolish or waste money. If you can’t trust your data, you should just sit tight and not make any rash moves.

The problem with that approach is that it breeds a culture in which no one ever wants to make a decision. As a result, the firm is locked in stasis. There’s no growth and performance is sluggish. Furthermore, you miss out on potentially valuable opportunities.

Risk 4: The Wrong Decision

It might seem hypocritical that the previous paragraph discussed the risk of indecisiveness, and this one talks about the risk of the wrong decision. However, it would be a disservice not to mention this hazard.

The cost of making the wrong decision is hard to measure because it differs from case to case. It could lead to lower sales, lower stock prices, or reputational damage (a significant but hard-to-quantify amount).

You can avoid making bad decisions (and the other aforementioned risks) by investing in a solution that provides a single source of truth. The cost of each of these risks outweigh the investment tremendously.

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