CHAPTER FOUR

Using systems to organise and collect data

IT FOLLOWS THAT ATTENTION SHOULD BE PAID to related systems. Specifically, two areas are addressed:

  • ERP systems and spreadsheets;
  • SAP, Oracle and Cloud.

4.1 ERP SYSTEMS AND SPREADSHEETS

The use of spreadsheets is commonly understood and forms an additional tool to data-collection and analysis processes, as provided by ERP systems. These systems use databases and software applications to integrate internal and external management information across an entire organisation, embracing all manner of functions, such as finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, and customer relationship management.

Basically, ERP systems automate this activity, doing so in real time, with an integrated software application in order to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organisation and to manage the connections to outside stakeholders. Given the popularity for such systems, it is understandable that most computer service providers have ERP in their suite of products. The modular nature of the ERP offerings allows for the installation of one or more modules that can stand alone or be connected, to ensure data integrity.

Generally, the modules of any ERP system are as follows:

  • Finance and accounting
    • General ledger, accounts payable, cash management, fixed assets, accounts receivable, budgeting, consolidation
  • Human resources
    • Payroll, training, benefits, recruiting
  • Manufacturing ...

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