Holidays without the headaches

It’s the summer holiday season – a time to get away, relax and forget about all those recurring data tasks you have lined up. If you have those jobs automated, you can happily switch off and forget all about them. If not, perhaps it’s time for a rethink before jetting off!

To ensure everything runs like clockwork while key members of staff are away, we always recommend that our clients set up automated and repeatable processes for delivering regular data updates for MasterVision. There are some very good reasons for this:

No lost luggage

When staff take vacations or are off sick, data still arrives at its destination on time, and in good shape. There’s no need for long and complicated handover notes, and colleagues won’t need to trawl through emails and post-it notes to work out exactly how a key data set needs to be formatted, generated and sent.

Switch to autopilot

Manipulating data ‘by hand’ is a very time-consuming process – the business of manually extracting the data, then zipping, encrypting and uploading numerous files can easily consume a large portion of the working day. Worse, it can also introduce errors into the files – we’re only human, after all.

Having automated processes means you can be sure that outputs are tried, tested and trusted. Most destination systems require a consistent format to guarantee processing – any inconsistencies can result in updates being rejected – or worse, being incorrectly integrated.

Travel off peak

Another benefit of automating processes is that they can be set to run regularly at a time when systems are less busy, such as overnight or at weekends. This means that intensive tasks such as data exports can be run without interfering with the performance of systems when staff are likely to be using them the most.

Home stretch

These recommendations come from firm proof that they work in practice – here at DataSalon, we strive to ensure that all the processes we have in place to check file updates and run scheduled site rebuilds on a regular basis are fully automated, and designed to make sure that data files are thoroughly checked before being incorporated into each site.

We strongly encourage our clients to do the same – after all, data analysis is only as good as the data itself, and with good processes in place you won’t be dealing with a mountain of data queries or customer complaints when you return from your relaxing break.