When integrating multiple systems and data sources together, it’s important that they match up. Mediation is a way to automate that mapping. If you’ve spent any time perusing our website, you’ve likely noticed we talk about mediation quite a bit. But what is it, exactly, and what role does it play in the billing process?

In short, mediation is the process of converting raw usage data into usable information for rating and invoicing.

Sounds simple enough, right? So why is a powerful, automated mediation engine necessary for billing? It may not be if your business is small, with few users and basic usage-based pricing models. In that case, you may be just fine using a manual mediation process. But if your business is bigger — or you plan for it to grow — serving a higher volume of customers and employing more complex or varied, consumption-based billing models, then manually converting that raw usage data into useful information may be a little more complicated, leading to delays, errors, unhappy customers, and revenue leakage.

Here are just a few ways automated mediation takes the guesswork — and the risk — out of usage data manipulation.

Normalizing Data from Multiple Sources

Usage data can come through the order-to-cash process in many different ways. Every billing model has its own set of rules, and data may be stored in multiple locations or written in multiple formats.

So, the first step in mediation is to convert all those different data formats into one, standard structure that the rating engine will be able to recognize and use. Whereas legacy systems can only handle one or two formats or sets of rules, the automated mediation capabilities of an intelligent billing platform can work within a much broader range for a variety of usage events. Sophisticated mediation functionalities include pulling in, reading, and converting data from every source and every format. That means there’s no need for your team to spend time preparing data for mediation or performing manual calculations. The platform can handle whatever data is thrown its way.

Ensuring Data Quality

We’ve all seen the tangled mess that can result from operating with unclean data — whether there are errors, gaps or redundancies, if they’re not caught and resolved early on, they can turn the billing process into a snarled nightmare down the line. A sophisticated mediation engine can identify the problem data immediately and isolate them for repair, potentially even communicating with third-party systems to resolve issues. As a result, glitches disappear before they become problems, ensuring a frictionless, accurate billing process.

Converting Data to Individual Invoices

Once the data is cleaned and normalized in the mediation engine, the rating engine converts it into chargeable items that can be used to create simple, accurate, easy-to-interpret invoices for every user account. The process eliminates confusion over ambiguous line items, “mysterious” charges and general payment expectations, keeping customers satisfied and ensuring the business can collect 100 percent of its revenue.

Enabling Usage Analysis

In aggregating and normalizing usage data, the mediation engine creates an accurate picture that enables granular analysis of usage. This informs ongoing evolution of billing models, including bundled services, split billing, consumption-based billing, multiple-partner settlements, and more.

The added layer of transparency that comes from automated mediation empowers business leaders to make informed decisions that will continue driving growth and revenue.

Providing Up-to Date Information

Finally, the Gotransverse mediation engine does all of this daily, ensuring customers and back-office teams have regular access to the most up-to-date account information. Legacy systems and manual mediation processes that require manual intervention often create lag time in converting usage data, leading to outdated information, inaccurate invoices and significant billing errors. But when you automate the process daily, you can ensure everyone knows what’s happening in any account.

Perhaps most importantly, a sophisticated mediation engine is built to scale, growing and evolving along with your business so it empowers, rather than impedes your success. To learn more about Gotransverse’s automated mediation engine — and the other powerful features of our intelligent billing system — take a tour of the Gotransverse platform and its capabilities. And when your organization is ready to make the change to intelligent billing, we invite you to schedule your complimentary, personalized demo to find out whether Gotransverse is the right choice for your business.