917.848.7284 Data for Finance and Accounting

Financial Reporting and Accounting Blog

Data Integration and the Limits of Reverse Engineering: Pain, Suffering and Bad APIs

Adam Jacobson December 1,2015

I’m about to get geeky. If you don't have a soft spot for specs and technology, you may want to stop reading now.

We spend a lot of our time building data integrations. Which means we're at the mercy of different trading partners and independent software vendors. Which makes life challenging when our customers want solid estimates. I hate saying "it depends." But in this case, it does depend. And it depends, largely, on our trading partners.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration

7 Key Data Integration Problems

Adam Jacobson November 26,2015

Few companies get all their information from one system. Most companies we work with have multiple systems—from ERP and WMS systems, to web stores, EDI and other trading partners. Indeed, we spend 30-50 percent of our time integrating data between different systems.

To that end, here are seven classic problems we encounter with integration projects—and clues for how to solve them.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration

The Costs of Good Enough: Justification for Continuous Improvement

Adam Jacobson April 20,2012

Full disclosure: This blog post is somewhat self-interested. In it, I argue why you need to invest continuously in reporting and cleanup even when things are good enough. As a consulting firm specializing in report writing, this is perhaps not surprising. But in my defense, I can tell you we take pride in doing no unnecessary work. Read on and draw your own conclusions.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration Financial Reporting Software

An Absolute IT Rule: Never Test in Production

Adam Jacobson February 22,2012

There are a lot of "Rules of IT" which people obsess about (like the fallacy of the holy specification). I don't care about many of these. But there is one big rule about which I'm adamant: never, NEVER, test in production. While this rule is generally adhered to, I'm surprised at how often companies ignore it.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration

Complex Rules and Easy-to-Use Requires Excellent Data

Adam Jacobson January 27,2012

Many of my clients have complex business rules. Most of these same clients want their systems as automated as possible so their staff doesn?t have to know too much to do their jobs. Sometimes, these systems work beautifully; sometimes, they don?t. This troubles me. I pride myself on developing systems where we might not hear from a client for months or years because the system just works. So, I?ve been trying to figure out why some systems work and others don?t. I?ve concluded it comes down to the quality of the data.

Read More

Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants Data Integration Financial Reporting Software

One Page of SQL is Worth 17 Access Queries

Adam Jacobson January 9,2012

Microsoft?s Access is a very powerful tool. We use it as a simple and fast way to create screens for data entry. But there are also lots of challenges with Access. The problem? Access is easy to learn but hard to use.

Read More

Tags: SSRS Data Integration Financial Reporting Software

The Five Levels of Data Security

Adam Jacobson October 17,2011

I recently had the opportunity to present to the Philadelphia chapter of the Data Management Association (DAMA), and in response to my point about transparency one audience member gave me an all-too-common story. He works for a health system that has multiple EMR (Electronic Medical Record) systems which don?t communicate with one another. Since the cost to consolidate into a single system would be prohibitive, they?re building a data warehouse for a single source of truth. But while each constituency thinks it?s great that they?ll be able see everyone else?s data, they don?t want to share their own.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration Financial Reporting Software

It's 10pm - Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

Adam Jacobson October 12,2011

We spend most of our days making data work for people. But before it can work, two things have to happen. One ? the data has to be there; it can?t be lost because your server crashed or your cloud provider went down. Two - the data has to be secure; you can?t have a laptop with the Social Security Numbers and compensation of the entire executive committee go missing.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration Business Intelligence ROI Financial Reporting Software

Working with Google Analytics - Part 1

Adam Jacobson September 19,2011

Understanding web data is one of the main challenges that all businesses face, and when I speak to other small business owners one of the first things they often ask me is what I know about Google Analytics. While Google Analytics is not something we consult on, it is something we use ourselves, and we try to follow our own advice when working with the data. The problem with the tool is that?s there?s just too much data for most small businesses, so while I can (and will...) give some tips and tricks with Google Analytics that we?ve learned, first I want to discuss what you do before you start clicking.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration Financial Reporting Software

The Project Plan and Driving in New Jersey

Adam Jacobson May 24,2011

Is the project plan a basic guideline or is it an absolute set of things that you have to do, come hell or high water? Some people get extraordinarily attached to the project plan even when the circumstances change dramatically. I was thinking about this last weekend while I was driving back to Manhattan from NJ, where I grew up. Exit 9, if you were going to ask.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration Business Intelligence ROI