High-quality data is essential for building a successful rebate strategy. Through accurate capture and thorough analysis of this data, manufacturers and distributors can identify areas for potential improvement for their deals. However, some organizations make a common mistake in their eagerness to realize the benefits of data-driven decision making: they neglect the crucial step of standardizing their data at the outset of their rebate management journey.
What Is Data Standardization and Why Is It Important?
The rate at which new data is being created is staggering, and it comes in a wide range of formats. Without proper management, your data lakes can quickly turn into data swamps, leaving you overwhelmed with incomprehensible data. To avoid drowning in this sea of data, it is crucial to gain control.
Data standardization is a critical process that involves converting data into a uniform format, simplifying the processing and analysis of that data. Organizations today rely on data from disparate sources which can present significant challenges because that data is rarely uniform. This can lead to difficulties down the line, such as errors in analysis, incorrect conclusions and misinformed decision-making.
When it comes to rebate management, most companies are working with spreadsheets that contain data from various sources. Although the data may be similar, its formatting may differ — especially from one deal, customer or supplier to the next. The rebate data trapped inside can become unmanageable and challenging due to its complexity. That’s why it is essential to have consistent, coherent and user-friendly data to accurately track, measure, analyze and report on your deals. However, achieving this can be a daunting task without the help of proper tools like rebate management software.
Benefits of Standardized Data
When organizations attempt to make data-driven decisions, a common issue arises wherein the rebate data required for analysis is deemed unreliable or inaccurate. By standardizing the data, it becomes more manageable to read, organize and analyze. This standardization can result in more actionable insights, enabling you to present your team with a precise representation of the deal scenario. Clear and comprehensible data aids in identifying patterns and gaining customer insights, ultimately leading to better decision-making.
By standardizing data, the rebate management process can be optimized, leading to a reduction in the time and effort required to collect, process and analyze rebate data. This, in turn, can boost efficiency and productivity by ensuring that everyone has access to the same information. This facilitates better communication among employees, resulting in fewer clarifying questions and more time for value-adding tasks.
When reporting on your rebate programs, the data needs to be standardized to ensure accuracy. A lack of standardization means a more difficult time making data-backed decisions. By generating reports and analyzing rebate data in a timely manner, you can identify trends and patterns and provide insights into rebate performance. Without data standardization, the resulting report would be of no value—or worse, misleading.
Data is more of a burden than an asset if nobody in the company understands it or can make sense of it. When rebate data is accessible to every department, each team can work with the same comprehensive dataset, instead of just having fragments of information. This allows teams to begin from the same point when tackling a problem, thereby facilitating the exchange of ideas and the pursuit of a shared objective across departments.
Organizations that handle rebates are obligated to adhere to particular standards and regulations set by auditors. Failure to comply with these regulations is not an option. Standardization, in this context, serves as a control mechanism that helps to ensure compliance with all applicable rules, regulations and requirements. By implementing standardization measures, organizations can minimize the risk of penalties and fines.
Standardizing Your Rebate Data with Enable
In order to fully utilize the capabilities of Enable’s rebate management software, it is essential to migrate data from various sources, integrate it into a single repository and standardize it into a common format. This is crucial for accurate rebate calculations and to maximize the potential of your deals.
Unfortunately, many companies have multiple unstructured data sources in different formats, which requires significant effort to organize. This can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process especially for those without the technical expertise. Therefore, having the right tools and additional support can make a significant difference when onboarding new software.
To address this, we are offering a data transformation service to expedite the data standardization process during onboarding of Enable. Discover more in our latest white paper: A Guide to Standardizing Your Data and Deal Terms