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Mike Ettling - CEO at Unit4

Data – finding the ‘C Suite’ spot

from  March 9, 2023 | 3 min read

For the C-suite, the world today looks remarkably different even from where it was 3 years ago. Covid, the economic pressures faced by individuals and businesses, supply chain challenges, the changing world of work, war in Europe and the rapid pace of technological change have all served to increase the complexities we have to navigate.

Consequently, with that backdrop, it’s now more crucial than ever for every member of an organization’s leadership team to have insights at their fingertips, so that they in turn can deliver more value to customers, stakeholders, employees and the markets. And what helps them to do so? Data.

We have all heard the old adage citing data as being the new oil, but it’s not just data in its own right – it’s consistent data, and having the means to ensure it remains as such. In a challenging economic environment, with greater complexity, and where all businesses need to be as effective and efficient as possible, the importance of data, its validity and how it is managed cannot be underestimated.


Tech as the enabler
Critically, the use of the correct, integrated technology which enables businesses, and their leaders, to have a single source of truth will be the differentiator. In turn, being able to use sophisticated analytical tools which give predictions, illustrate trends and – combined - provide valuable insights to inform decision making is what will give organizations and its leadership teams the edge.

When I speak to customers and prospects, in particular global PSO’s, they share that, by implementing the right technology to better utilise their data, they are more nimble, efficient, accurate and productive.

To offer an example as to how, let’s take the three critical business functions of a People based business: Finance, HR and Projects. One can only imagine the hundreds of datapoints in each business unit, and the thousands of resultant connections between each of those. When these connections are handled via integrations between disparate systems from multiple vendors – or even spread between similar technologies without native dataflows – the resources, time and cost spent creating the integrations is huge.

In addition, the expense of maintaining, updating or changing each individual integration between those system data sources is considerable, not to mention risky, given these datapoints drive business critical processes, such as invoicing. But it’s not just processes which are critical from these datapoints: it’s the insights which Leadership draws from them, and which drive decision making in the business. With disparate systems, that all important data has more propensity to be inconsistent, siloed and inaccurate...meaning a lack of confidence in whether the data really is the truth. In turn, this can consume vast resources in data ratification and consolidation across the multiple competing sources.

So, when the CFO, CHRO and COO, for instance, need those vital business insights, how can they be sure that what the data is telling them is correct?


It’s all about the value – the Triple Value
Data – and how it is managed - is something every business should be investing in, in order to deliver the right outcomes, and business value. The answer? A singular solution which integrates the key functions (and the datapoints therein) and crucially which ensures one single data model alongside the benefits of a single security model, a single consistent user interface, singular familiar experience and, therefore, one truth.  Confidence in the data alignment across Finance, HR & Project teams, as an example, represents capability, depth and efficiency – Triple Value in terms of ERP and business success.

Triple Value Triangle

When such functions are not within a single ERP solution with a foundation data model that provides these benefits, it can lead to chaos...a single solution reduces complexity and quickly adds value. By seamlessly leveraging the right datapoints, business becomes faster, decision making is better informed and, ultimately, both people and customer experience is maximised - leading to better value for all.

The right technology can provide the consistent data, the insights from which help organizations to take action and aid business growth.

And, whilst members of the C-Suite all have their own individual as well as collective priorities, they all have a seat at the table, and they all need data...consistently. And when the data is reliable without doubt – that really is the C-Suite spot.


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Mike Ettling - Chief Executive Officer at Unit4

Mike Ettling

Unit4 Chief Executive Officer

I’m a CEO, Investor, builder of world class teams, champion of diversity and continuous learner, and I’m passionate about people. From my first leadership role in the Boy Scouts, to exec positions in the tech industry, my career has revolved around elevating, engaging and enabling people. I joined Unit4 to get the market as excited in our unique approach to enterprise tech as I am. We’re building systems that change how people experience work, and the impact will be huge.

Outside of work I’m a proud father, Liverpool supporter and South African.