Even Santa needs data management

Ol’ Saint Nick needs to run a tight ship to get the right presents to the kids at Christmas – the only way to do that effectively is with good data management

Santa Claus is coming to town… but only if he has a solid data framework to support his, frankly, impractical business model. At the core of Santa’s business model is getting the right gifts to the right kids at the right time. And just like any business trying to get their product out on time, data is at the heart of that process.

Here are a few reasons why.

Roll on the gift line

He’s making a list. He’s checking it twice. But if the data isn’t correct, Santa could end up with a delivery nightmare, some seriously upset kids and a PR disaster on his hands.

For a start, Santa has to provide a brand new gift to every Christmas-celebrating child on Earth. Building every wooden horse, stuffed Paw Patrol dog and PS5 and is no easy feat. That’s before everything has to be labelled (not forgetting safety regulations and age recommendations) packaged correctly and shipped to the sleigh.

Not to mention that keeping a workshop open 364 days a year is no easy feat. There’s sourcing materials (and keeping an eye on supply chain provenance), making sure enough elves are on the floor to fulfil demand and paying a hefty central heating bill. He needs to ensure every single present is tested, packed up and given the right label, then shipped and ready on the sleigh in time.


Keeping the elves happy

Talk about an unseen workforce.

We don’t know how many elves Santa has in his employ – but it’s definitely enough that he’ll lose track if he’s not careful. Not to mention elf and safety...sorry, health and safety regulations, employee records, training and development programmes, and pensions (because even elves need to retire someday).

With such a huge number of employees to keep on top of, Santa needs to ensure that data is being controlled and delivered at every step of the organisation.

It's not just customer and product data that need to kept track off, your elves are important too.

Looking to the future of Santa Industries

PETA has never been particularly happy about the whole ‘flying reindeer at 1,367 miles per second’ thing. And environmentalists definitely don’t like that he’s releasing 69.7 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions in the process.

In the future, Santa will need to evolve his processes to fit into a more eco-friendly model – he might even need to invest in an autonomous eco-sleigh, for example.

The point is this: even if Santa has the right data quality, software and processes in place, that could easily change in the future. That’s why he needs an experienced data consultant on hand who knows how to create a bespoke data management solution that will maximise efficiency for his business - and reliable data governance ensuring that the data he uses is accurate.


Santa needs to rein in his data management

Santa can’t afford to silo data. He can’t have different accounts of when the next shipment of wooden horses is coming in, the cost of carrots for Vixen, or how many red suits he’ll need.

Santa also needs efficiency. He needs to be sure that everything will run like clockwork on the big day. He needs to have the right information to pass on to all stakeholders (elves, human or reindeer) and the right data to ensure accurate, informed decision making.

Only when old St Nicholas has got his data governance in order can he start using data to deliver the right gifts, to the right kids, at the right time. But he needs a single source of truth in his data: an organised strategy that will have presents flying out of workshops, reindeer flying safely through the skies and gifts placed safely under the tree.

It’s exactly the same with today’s businesses. To get the best out of your data, you need a data management strategy that will make sure your data quality is always up to scratch, providing timely, reliable, consistent and accurate information when you need it, to improve efficiency, inform decision-making, reduce costs and improve efficiency.

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