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The power of connected systems

Connected Systems

The power of connected systems

Across your business, you will likely work with 5-10 different applications in your average workday. Some of these systems are entirely independent of each other, and some are connected. 

For example, the Microsoft Office Platform is a range of different tools, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. You can use each of the tools independently of each other, or you can add an Excel table to your Word Document or Display a graph from Excel in your Powerpoint. 

In much the same way, the Construction software space now has a range of tools to help various elements of your business, e.g. Project Management, Workplace Health & Safety, Finance/Job Costing, Procurement and Asset Management.  

The power of using various tools is that each area of your business is that they then get to use the best-of-breed software for their requirements.  

Some of the tools may have inbuilt integrations, and some will not. If you are using Cloud-based software, many have APIs (Application Programming interfaces). If you are using server-based software, it will likely have a database such as SQL where the data is stored. 

These features provide the ability to connect, even if not through a direct integration. 

This connectivity is best suited if a critical element is shared between the data. E.g. if you want to be able to connect the various systems, then a common value on the data to be linked is required. This could be: 

– Job Number (e.g. 123-1)

– Vendor Code (ABC1)

– Customer Code (CUST1)

– General Ledger Code (5100-01-01)

Whilst having a shared key is helpful, it does not need to be as it is possible to configure a translation table so that in System A, it is 123-1, and in System B, it is 110-ABC-1. 

Once you can align the systems either directly or via translation, you can then look at the following:

– Ability to Export/Import data

– Ability to Integrate Systems (automated Import/Export)

– Ability to pull report data from Multiple systems

Tools such as PowerBI provide a range of data engines that can read from multiple data sources that otherwise don’t connect. 

This can be incredibly powerful when you want to report on key metrics around the business.  

This reporting capability often reduces the need for complex integrations as the individual tools focus on what they need to deliver for your business. The reporting tools then combine it for insight when required.   

Whilst these tools can create reports, the insight gained are only useful if you understand the metrics behind them.  

Consider you want to look at Workplace Health and Safety Reporting. You may have the Employee Data in your Payroll Software; you may have a separate incident tracking database; the Projects data is in your Job Costing software. 

Using the methods above, you can pull the data from its various sources and display critical metrics such as 

– No of Employees by Type per Month

– No of Reported Incidents by Type per Month

– No of Employees per Project that had an incident over a date range. 

The power of connected systems is in many ways only limited by your imagination with the tools available today to give insights in seconds that previously took weeks or months to collate.  

So make sure to ask about the ability to access the data for reporting when you want to add it to your software toolkit. 

If you feel your business could benefit from this, give one of our team a call today on 1300 868 474 and let’s find some time to make your business even more successful.