In the course of daily operations, companies often generate a great deal of data that can be leveraged to gain a significant advantage over their competition. This data includes information about sales, marketing, inventory, financials, employees and more.
While ERP systems can generate reports, this requires IT support and often takes a matter of days before the report lands on a manager’s desk. With business intelligence (BI), your data is collected from your various programs and departments throughout your company to be explored and reported from. Now your executives and managers have a complete and accurate picture of your business. When your data is organized into one view of the truth, it can be leveraged to uncover new opportunities, evaluate outcomes, and predict future trends. By taking action on these fact-based insights, your business can achieve a significant advantage over your competition.
The data advantage
While many managers have honed their gut instincts through years of experience, in today’s data-driven marketplace, decisions made by instinct alone are susceptible to human error through a limited perspective. Data is crucial to fact-based decision making as it provides a broad view of the truth and empowers businesses to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. Your company has all of the data you need stored in systems such as ERPs, CRMs, spreadsheets, and so on. You merely need to find a way to draw insight from your existing data.
Traditionally, reports are generated by IT in most businesses. Creating reports from an ERP system often needs to be set up and manually adjusted. Once you’ve requested a report, it may take up to a week for IT to generate it and get it on your desk. By this time, the data outdated. Also, IT generated reports are static. This means you cannot investigate the underlying factors driving what you are observing. Considering the time involved, as well as the outdated and static nature of traditional reporting, this method is of little value as it doesn’t drive a company’s profitability. With BI, it’s easy to create and share your findings. Reports can be printed or shared with collaborators through the BI system.
Use existing data efficiently
To draw actionable insights from the data you already have, a good BI tool like Phocas, empowers managers to easily access and analyze the relevant aspects of the data, and instantly view the results. The intuitive interface requires minimal training, even for users who do not consider themselves to be very tech-savvy. Phocas does this without losing any of the data’s complexity. It simply makes it easier to draw inferences through the use of features such as the dashboard, scorecard, and visualizations.
Gain an advantage over the competition
BI enables you to become a more ‘Intelligent Company’ than your old-school competitors. Using BI to analyze your data will reveal actionable insights, allow you to create relevant KPIs, identify strategic priorities, and foster the use of facts, along with gut-instinct, in crucial decision making processes. Additionally, current operational procedures can be optimized to help you avoid dead stock or find more upselling and cross-selling opportunities, for instance. Best of all, BI uncovers trends and opens the door to opportunities you did not know existed.
Find out more about being in control of your business by using data, download this eBook, The future of business lies in the data.