Single Version of the Truth

Attaining the single version of the truth (SVT) is a key goal for your information strategy. Single version of the truth means that you always get a consistent answer regardless of how you drill down, roll up or look across the information. The information must be the same regardless of system, geography, business unit or product line.

The single version of the truth starts with high quality data, but it is really the result of implementing an integrated information strategy. The following elements all must be in place for SVT to be achieved. They are listed in a basic sequence, but most times these efforts will happen partially in parallel.

  • Get the right level of granularity through your data provisioning process.
  • Run the data alignment process to ensure your metadata aligns across all systems and business processes.
  • Define and implement consistent Master Data across all source systems.
  • Create a logical and physical architecture to support your current and future needs.
  • Develop standards for certified reporting and analytics. Create a review process to ensure all reporting and analytics stay fresh while avoiding an explosion of one time only reports.


Ultimately, SVT depends on strong governance and process as much as it does on data and tools. It is one of the areas where strong sponsorship from executive leadership can drive change across the organization. There can be resistance to SVT since individuals will no longer be able to “spin” or “manipulate” the information. Engaging the change management team early in the process can alleviate some of these challenges.