What is a SaaS single source of truth and why is it needed?

The importance of building a central SaaS data repository for informed decision making

Sarah Monette | JUN 06, 2023

5 min read

Business leaders often pride themselves on their ability to make data-backed decisions. After all, not only does the use of objective data help them identify new growth opportunities, but it can also improve processes across the company and even allow them to better serve their customers.

The problem, however, is that while many organizations sit on this data, their ability to make informed decisions is dependent on them having the required information readily available.

Something that’s easier said than done when the average organization uses 130 software applications.

So, while there are more tools than ever to collect, measure, structure, automate, and interpret data, the numerous locations and formats in use makes it increasingly difficult for these executives to not only access, but make sense of the data.

Which is why having a single source of truth is so crucial.

In other words, a central data repository that ensures those who need it have access to the same, accurate information.

Here’s everything you need to know about creating a single source of truth when it comes to your data.

Creating a single source of truth: what’s standing in the way?

If leaders already know that having a single source of truth is important, what’s the issue?

Too many tools

SaaS tools have become thoroughly embedded in nearly every facet of the modern organization, with the average company now using 130 different platforms. The problem is, this has led to SaaS sprawl – the unmanageable spread of software applications – and is subsequently causing huge issues.

While these technologies have given teams more flexibility, scalability and speed, the decentralized way in which these tools are often procured is contributing to poor visibility and wasted spend. In fact, with many employees now purchasing these applications unbeknownst to the finance or IT teams, organizations are increasingly dealing with unaccounted spending, security risks, and tool duplication.

Besides the security and cost implications, having excess SaaS tools can also impact productivity. Updating multiple systems with the same information can drain valuable time away from your employees.

Data overload

Oftentimes, it isn’t that modern organizations lack data – the problem is that they lack data analysis. Too many tools create too many reports, and with information being ingested, processed, and analyzed in disparate systems, executives can be gathering differing, or even directly contradictory information.

For these business leaders, this means excess time spent gathering and formatting data and not enough time spent on strategic thinking or planning. For example, finance teams spend an average of 14 hours a month consolidating different versions of data, checking for errors, or manually inputting information into systems to create reporting and visuals, according to research by Datarails, an FP&A software.

All that time spent combining and cleaning data means that business leaders are left with less time to actually understand the narrative that data might reveal.

How to create your single source of truth

Understand the tools you’re using

The first step in creating a SaaS single source of truth is to obtain an understanding of the data sources you’re working with. Instead of manually tracking this information in a spreadsheet – a process that often results in human error and inaccuracies – an automated SaaS purchasing platform will provide you with a consolidated view of the applications you’re subscribed to, their cost, who the application owner is, and the purpose of each app.

It can also help you uncover tools that have been purchased outside of approved processes. By shining a light on all the tools that a company is using across departments, this software can also help to uncover both duplicate and redundant SaaS applications, thereby helping to consolidate the number of places that data needs to be entered into or retrieved from.

How do these tools interact?

Once you have visibility of all your available data sources, you need to ensure these tools are working together seamlessly and creating a cohesive, and comprehensible, narrative. Rather than making tool decisions in a silo, it is imperative that executives work across departments to design a tech stack that can work together seamlessly.

This also means finding the tools that can effortlessly connect your data. When it comes to financial data, for example, FP&A software can consolidate it from across your various finance tools, as well as from Excel spreadsheets, to create a single source of truth without requiring additional manual entry.

The importance of having total SaaS visibility

Gaining visibility into your data is just the first step. What really impacts your business is what you do with the information.

At Vertice, we not only provide you with total visibility of your software portfolio, but our experienced purchasing managers can also work with you to right-size your tech stack, enabling you to identify opportunities to minimize spend and avoid both the security risks and compliance issues that often come with unmanaged software.

That’s not all we do though. We also take the burden of buying, managing and renewing SaaS off your hands, saving you valuable time and freeing you up to focus on your core business operations.

Why not see for yourself how much you could be saving on your annual software spend with a free SaaS savings audit.

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