Make Data your ally … and avoid these top five mistakes that have cost companies millions!
Articles • Central Innovation • 7 May 2019
We all make mistakes – but even a simple typo due to lack of concentration, fatigue or simply bad eyesight can be more costly than you might first imagine!
In our modern world, transferring data from one software platform to another is a crucial component of the product development process. But surprisingly, a lot of our customers are still utilising a manual approach to data transfer – that is, somebody takes the design data and keys it in for the production department. And here’s where the inevitable human error steps in!
Unless your staff are superpowered, or you can afford the time-consuming task of having every bit of data entry not only double but triple checked, then – as the poet Robert Burns put it – ‘the best laid plans o’ mice and men’ are apt to go awry. Or, as we say in more modern vernacular – albeit politely – stuff happens.
And it’s not just a question of a slip of the typing finger. Data can be misplaced, staff may not fully understand the correct procedures, or they may be under the gun due to work pressures. These and other issues all affect quality control – and unfortunately, more often than many of us would like to admit.
Research shows that only 47 per cent of companies think they are being efficient in their passing of data between steps of a product lifecycle. In fact, one study found that 88 per cent of spreadsheets contain at least one (or more!) serious errors.
We are in an era of digital transformation, where all businesses must bring their A game to not get left behind. Implementing changes to your data transfer process will not only be beneficial for business today, but essential for survival tomorrow!
So why not embrace change, improve your processes with DataSuite, and make data your ally … not the cause of your headaches!
From typos to miscalculations, to simple copy and paste errors … here are the top 5 manual data entry errors! Hope your business doesn’t make it to the next list!
- Typing error costs Japanese share-trading company $225 million. In 2003, Mizuho Securities of Japan planned to sell a single share of J-Com for some 610,000Yen. But a trader’s typo led instead to 610,000 shares put up for sale at the bargain basement price of 1Yen! The sale went ahead even though the number of shares up for grabs was more than Mizuho Securities owned – costing the business more than $225 million. 
- An Excel Spreadsheet copy and paste error cost Canadian power company TransAlta $24 million when spreadsheet rows were misaligned. This meant bids were put against the wrong contracts, shearing 10 per cent off the company’s yearly profit at a single keystroke.
- Another Excel typo was responsible for Kodak’s $11 million severance error in 2005. An employee typed too many zeros on a severance record leading to an overstatement of $11 million, sending Eastman Kodak stock into a spiral due to last-minute accounting adjustments!
- Excel user error was the cause of JP Morgan’s infamous London Whale debacle. An employee copied the wrong information from one spreadsheet and pasted it to another to create a value-at-risk (VaR) model which understated the company’s risk and contributed to a $6 billion trading loss.
- A template error led to the release of confidential information from drug company AstraZeneca in 2011 – due to the apparently innocuous combination of a ‘routine consensus collection process’ and an Excel template! Embedded in the template was confidential corporate data and this was sent to analysts along with the rest of the financial package.
The solution to all these problems is to automate your data transfer! You can protect against the above errors and make data your strongest ally with DataSuite.
DataSuite does this by:
Delivering a seamless interface for different data and different systems, focusing your business back to what it does best and away from mistakes, complicated systems and the need for tedious and time-consuming manual transfer.
By automating data loads and movement, DataSuite removes the risk of human error. It builds on this by connecting different systems so they can act as one, marrying different data into a single usable data environment where all data can be exploited as one dataset – including the specific business rules you need to add to the process.
Finally, all this can be taken to the ultimate level – with DataSuite programmed to enhance data to support more sophisticated systems and process automation, usage and capability.