What well-managed data looks like
The above scenario is common, but it’s not a foregone
conclusion for large projects coordinated between many service
providers. There is a world where trustworthy information flows freely
between teams. And when we look at well-managed data in real-world
examples, we see it shares a handful of common characteristics.
Source-agnostic data collection
It’s unrealistic to expect a hundred organizations to use
the same financial, CMS, and project management software. So
successfully stopping sprawl needs a centralized platform that can
integrate with the systems everyone uses to gather data.
Kayak, the popular travel app, is a perfect case in point. The company is headquartered in Boston, but works with partners in Europe, China, and India on IT infrastructure projects.
It would be nearly impossible for the Boston team to update
and exchange the single-user spreadsheets from each involved. So they
used a no-code platform to create a centralized location that imports
data from their partners. Now Kayak’s partners update in their native
locations, and Kayak employees see it all in one place.
is the control of who can see, add, and use data. As more organizations
join a project, there are more opportunities to create duplicate data
and muddy the reporting waters with out-of-date information. Governance
is how you keep that from happening—especially if you’ve enabled teams to build their own apps using no-code platforms.
Governance works best when it’s controllable at various
levels. That means setting automated approvals not just by role, like
admin vs. user, but by the data field or query. So as a project expands
and hundreds of new people need access, no one is tasked with setting
The Micron Consumer Products Group
had several data management jobs that no-code apps could solve quickly.
But they also had to be aware of sensitive data that could be at risk
when non-IT personnel created these solutions. So they built in
governance guardrails that allowed for fast app development while
keeping data safe.
Discoverable and accessible
Just as data collection needs to be source-agnostic,
avoiding sprawl requires that data be easy to find and usable by
everyone that needs it. That includes making it available on all the
devices—both stationary and portable—typically used to access it. The
alternative is repetitive requests for the same data that gets stored in
A single organization can handle this by storing data on an
accessible cloud server. For multi-organization projects, it’ll require
a central platform that “speaks” with the various systems of each team.
Here’s how Boyett Construction—a
specialty subcontractor with 100-plus jobs always on the go—does it.
They custom-built their own no-code project management app, called BMS,
which gathers information from vendors, financial partners, and field
crews. The team then quickly designs custom reports and dashboards that
collate and contextualize all that disparate data.
Compliance is an essential concern for almost any
organization that deals with data. Whether it’s HIPAA, GDPR, or CCPA,
there is often a need to prove that sensitive information is handled
properly. Data sprawl is a natural enemy of good compliance and makes
reporting to compliance agencies a nightmare.
Centralizing data is a big leap towards curbing sprawl and being compliant. So is proper data organization and tagging.
For example, the Atlantic Research Group—a
contract research organization—left behind the challenges of using
spreadsheets and Google Docs to meet HIPAA requirements. Instead, the
company created its own Clinical Trials Management System that keeps all
the files they need to protect in one place that’s easily searched when
HIPPA regulators come calling.
As a project increases in complexity and scope, so do its
data management needs. What worked when three organizations collaborated
around project design won’t be adequate when 50 teams are testing soil,
gaining legal approvals, and building physical structures.
Wrangling data sprawl while working with a growing and changing list of subcontractors takes a lot of work. Canadian Solar Solutions Inc.
found it impossible to do with an inflexible SharePoint instance locked
behind a firewall. So they built a completely customized project
management app. The flexible design of their no-code app lets them start
with a few basic data sets, like key project dates, and add
functionality over time as new vendors and partners require specific
The impact of curbing data sprawl
Well-structured, easily shareable data has profound impacts
on a project. Decisions are better informed as leaders have easy access
to contextualized, trustworthy information. Coordination improves since
everyone is working off the same, up-to-date facts. There’s a sharp
increase in productivity because people aren’t manually requesting
details repeatedly. And without the exponential duplication of data left
in many locations, data security increases while storage costs
There is a flexible, no-code solution that lets the
largest, most complex projects curb data sprawl through customizable
applications. Whether you’re organizing the deployment of a new
state-wide health initiative or just digging a really big hole, we can
show you how.