Chapter 6The Company's Collection of Source Data

Source data for business analytics (BA) has historically primarily been created by the company's operational systems—accounts entries are, for instance, created in the financial management system and sales data (order data) is created through order pages on the company's Web site. It is here that data quality is of the utmost importance, because this is where data is created.

The trend is moving toward also exploiting data that is generated outside the company's operational systems. Products sensor data (on customer's consumption patterns) is increasingly being sent back from, for example, televisions, hearing devices, or apps. Additionally, social media data is used in many instances, for example, to understand market trends or how customers look at the organization (for human resources [HR] purposes). This chapter will answer the question: How does a business collect source data? We will go through typical data‐generating systems in the business's immediate environment, and we'll also look at the difference between primary and secondary data, as well as external and internal analyses. We'll be looking at initiatives to improve the data quality of source systems. Finally, we'll present a way in which a business can prioritize from which source systems to collect project related data.

An interesting observation is that primary data from source systems meets an information need for a particular target group in the business. When ...

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