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Eight Good Reasons to Store Contracts and Memberships in a Single Repository

It’s just too easy to collect and store subscription records in many distinct places and… before you know it, every employee uses a different spreadsheet, and every department stores data in a different way

Data management is tough to get right consistently. It’s just too easy to collect and store subscription records in many distinct places and… before you know it, every employee uses a different spreadsheet, and every department stores data in a different way.

Coordinating data and storing it in a single, distinct place has many advantages. In this article, we give you eight good reasons why you should consider using a single repository such as Couranto Clarity to store your subscription contracts and membership data.

1.Control and uniformity improve data quality

Dedicated tools that act as a data repository usually enforce rules on data entry and storage. It means that anything stored in the repository is stored consistently, and with fewer errors compared to ad hoc solutions.

If the entire team uses the same tool to store their data, it’s much less likely that errors will creep in. A single repository reduces the risk that decisions are made based on data that was accidentally entered incorrectly, or is incomplete. The net effect is that teams have consistent, high-quality data to base their decisions on.

2.Maintain a single version of the truth

Quality data in a single repository gives you something else: a single, accurate version of the subscription status quo. A single version of the trust means that there is less risk that information managers are uncertain about the status quo of their subscription contracts.

It also limits the opportunity for misunderstanding about things like active subscriptions and agreements already made with vendors. What’s more, advanced tools such as Couranto Clarity maintain a data history. For example, in Couranto Clarity, you can retrieve a list of past contracts with the same vendor to review previous agreements.

3. Avoid the data silo effect

Distinct, distributed locations for data storage managed by small teams are often completely disconnected. Worse, individual team members can actively work to silo the data that they own. In other words data is stored, viewed, and manipulated only by the data owner with minimal access to outsiders.

This can mean, for example, that information professionals in a different department do not know that a subscription acting as an umbrella agreement for the entire organization has already been negotiated, creating the risk that the department overpays by registering an unneeded subscription.

4. Better data management for larger teams

Larger teams working across big organizations can quickly generate many different repositories for subscription data. It makes it difficult to coordinate access to each of the repositories and for the various teams to know which version of the data is the latest.

Shuffling around Microsoft Excel sheets can be a particularly tough act to coordinate. In contrast, a single unified repository makes it much easier to coordinate tasks, to onboard new employees, and to ensure that key data is retained once an employee leaves.

5. Easier budgeting and planning

A single, central storage place for subscription data assists with the budgeting and planning process. Couranto Clarity, for example, uses the contract data in the Clarity database to generate live analytics showing when contracts are due to renew – alongside an indication of the renewal cost.

The more centralized nature of a data repository also reduces the risk of surprises. For example, the risk that nobody notices a renewal is due for a key big-budget information service – simply because the contract data was not recorded correctly, or recorded somewhere it wasn’t visible.

6. The right facts to power C-level buy-in

Uncertainty and surprises never go down well with the C-suite. In information budget negotiations, for example, a high level of certainty around facts such as needs, usage, and aggregate costs can help you drive a request for a larger budget.

Siloed, distributed repositories for subscription data make building an argument much more difficult because it makes it hard to extract the facts. Tools such as Couranto Clarity that are dedicated to subscription management can go as far as providing one-click access to key stakeholder reports.

7. Speed up work thanks to automation

Advanced data repositories are great for automating tasks. For example, information experts can actively monitor subscription renewals through Couranto Clarity thanks to automated alerts. Clarity even allows you to reach out directly to the users of specific subscription products to poll those users about renewal and vendor preferences.

However, automation loses value or completely breaks down if data is stored across a variety of repositories of all shapes. In order to automate you must store data in a single repository.

8. In the long run, you save time and money

Signing up for any technology service requires an up-front investment both in terms of time and money. That includes training employees to make use of a new database product, for example. That’s the case for Couranto Clarity too. But, in the long run, the benefits of using a single data repository can bring significant cost savings.

One way a repository saves money is by reducing the time wasted by organizing and manipulating subscription records or trying to recover lost data.

It comes down to better coordination and a single, purpose-built repository can make all the difference. Information experts that use Couranto Clarity as a repository for subscription data significantly reduce the risk of mismanaging subscriptions and renewals – and overpaying. You can read more about Couranto Clarity here.

Courano is a WBENC and Disability:iN certified diverse company with more than 30 years experience in corporate information contract management, Couranto serves clients globally with strategic programs that maximize the value of information portfolios by reducing costs while improving access to licensed content, data resources, intellectual property, corporate memberships and related contracts. Couranto’s Discovery and Clarity platforms provide custom-configured end-to-end information access, budget planning and license management tools. Built on deep expertise and a long history of client successes, Couranto solutions add value to your information and help drive innovation throughout your organization, creating enduring impact.

Information About the Author

Nick Collison

Nick Collison

Director of Business Strategy, Market Development, Library & E-Content

Nick Collison has decades of experience in managing information access, budgeting, strategic planning, and knowledge services. Collison is a Fellow of SLA, the Special Libraries Association.