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The journey to data driven procurement. How to capture data?

by | July 12, 2021

We have already come out of the period when big data was an abstract term for foreseers. Now, it is the core of digital procurement transformation and businesses see data as a major aspect of growth. Data driven approaches, which mean making strategic decisions based on data interpretation and analysis, can help companies examine their data before implementing advanced procurement solutions.

In learning how to use data before a procurement solution, businesses will need to address two challenges: adopting data driven procurement technologies to become more effective in capturing relevant data and using digital innovation approaches to better understand how to use the captured data.

Keep reading this 2-part blog series, to learn more about how to collect relevant data, what to do with it and which are the benefits it brings to your procurement solution implementation.

What data to capture?

Based on more than 600 successful S2P implementations, we can put down 4 important types of procurement-related data you might consider collecting before implementing a data driven procurement solution:

  • data that documents your current process
  • data that helps you identify the gaps between your current state and desired state for your procurement organisation
  • data that helps you evaluate and select the right procurement technology solutions that will bridge these gaps
  • data that helps you create a business case, develop a plan and decide on priorities

Do you have the relevant data for your procurement decisions?

We might be tempted to consider that as data is available everywhere, it’s also just as simple to collect it in the way it is needed for your organisation. It is important to have a standardised categorisation system to avoid inconsistencies.

Data also needs a common road, a way of circulating it from one place to the other. But the first step is to clearly define your data strategy, so that you provide your organisation with a mutual understanding of what data is as an asset. You can also use the data in creating messages for your employees so that there is a clear understanding of what value the procurement function brings.

Cleaning and securing your data

After defining your data strategy, you might need to consider cleaning your data so that it is relevant for the goals you set. The basic steps are to remove irrelevant data, duplicates or possible syntax errors or typos.

Securing your data is the process of protecting corporate data but also a prevention of losing it. This means to protect it from possible attacks which can destroy it and might create substantial problems. Data security is not only a set of processes created to protect your information technology ecosystem but also a way to ensure that data is available to everyone inside organization who has the rights to access it.

Today, many procurement activities are still process driven which can sometimes prevent a business from developing the type of insights it needs to make better decisions. But as procurement becomes more data-driven, processes don’t just go away but rather become more adaptable. What happens is that past processes simply move in somewhere in the background and give space to the right data going to the right people at the right time. Having the right data captured helps organisations take better decisions in implementing advanced data driven procurement solutions.

After deciding what data to store, how to clean and process it, you need to consider where to store it and how to use the captured data. Stay tuned – that part is coming soon!