Business analytics can provide companies with an accurate and holistic view of their business. Executives and managers now have the ability to use data for real-time, actionable insights into everything from customer buying patterns to inventory management without having to rely on IT for outdated, static reports. In this blog, we discuss five strategic benefits of business analytics .
Strategic benefit of business analytics 1: staff will have faster access to data
Comparison: A conservative wait time for an IT generated report is two days. In today’s fast-paced world, a lot can change in two days and usually by the time reports are received, the data is out-of-date. Your executives and managers need to be able to access up-to-date data in order to make quick decisions that will maintain your competitive advantage.
How would your business look: With access to up-to-date data, your sales team is empowered when interacting with prospects. Over time, this will lead to increased revenue opportunities as sales staff become aware of what customers are buying and, more importantly, what they are not buying. With this data at their fingertips, your sales managers are able to monitor their teams’ performance on a daily basis to identify and implement strategies to improve performance overall. With an easy-to-learn and intuitive BI tool like Phocas, the typical ROI timeframe is between 2-4 months after implementation, but can sometimes be even faster.
Strategic benefit of business analytics 2: increase customer acquisition and retention
Comparison: Sales reps rely on the right information in the right moment. Providing your reps with potentially outdated data may result in your reps wasting time as they hunt for current facts or figures. This could result in lost sales opportunities.
How your business would look: Armed with current, relevant access to data, your reps are able to engage in more meaningful conversations that are of real value to your customers. By having data on customer behavior patterns, previous customer feedback, customer preferences, and buying habits, your reps will know what your customers truly want and have the ability to demonstrate the value of your product or service to them. When prospects feel heard, they are more inclined to become loyal and satisfied customers. A quality BI tool will be accessible from mobile devices ensuring your reps have access to your data even when they are out of the office.
Strategic benefit of business analytics 3: measure the effectiveness of campaigns
Comparison: Traditional marketing efforts are a game of trial and error. Businesses implement a strategy and wait to see if their efforts pay off. If sales increase, it’s assumed the strategy is successful. If not, the strategy is tweaked or scrapped for a new plan-of-action.
How your business would look: BI empowers you to design, monitor, and evaluate the success of your promotional and marketing campaigns by offering real-time insight into how customers are reacting to them. By identifying which campaigns receive the best responses, you can streamline your marketing budget and allocate funds for the best ROI. If a campaign is not generating a positive response, you are able to quickly reorganize the promotion or customize the campaign message accordingly.
Strategic benefit of business analytics 4: New sales opportunities will regularly present themselves
Comparison: An Excel spreadsheet can inform your team that sales for a specific product are up, but it can’t clarify whether a specific color or other characteristic is performing better than others. Nor can spreadsheets indicate why certain products are underperforming. BI provides businesses with the ability to quickly evaluate data to identify sales issues and opportunities more effectively than ever before.
How your business would look: BI allows your team to quickly detect emerging sales trends by analyzing company data on customers as well as various market conditions. Your team will have the ability to swiftly visualize detailed changes in customer behaviors to reveal emerging opportunities. By leveraging these insights, sales teams can improve the accuracy of their sales predictions and respond accordingly.
Strategic benefit of business analytics 5: More stock moving off the shelves
Comparison: Static reports identify the quantity of a product a company has on hand when the report is generated, and which products are slow moving or have become dead stock sitting in your warehouse graveyard. However, these reports cannot identify the cause of slow moving or dead stock, nor prevent future dead stock. It’s difficult for a company to avoid this situation without a tool in place to accurately monitor the purchasing process.
How your business would look: BI can help you to isolate poor purchasing decisions because you are no longer relying on outdated static reports. With BI you are able to monitor inventory-to-purchase ratio, stock turns, and slow-moving stock by product, territory, or manufacturer. With BI, you are able to refine you inventory management processes. By identifying product selling patterns, you are able to reduce excess inventory and the cost to maintain it. Visualizations provide a clear picture of how much to order, when, and at what price. In addition to ensuring your stock moves, your managers are able to utilize the information to effectively adjust pricing tiers to increase your profit margins.
Having your customer, sales, and inventory data at your fingertips gives you leverage to rapidly adapt to an ever-changing sales climate. With the right tool in place companies are able to increase profit margins, reduce spending, and achieve competitive excellence.
Now that you have more insights into the strategic benefits of business analytics, why not have a closer look at the specific Executive KPIs and metrics to measure with business analytics by downloading this free ebook, Top 7KPIs and metrics for mid-market executives.