Business intelligence blog

    4 signs your company needs a business intelligence solution


    Most companies in 2018 generate data. Some companies might generate more than others, but the importance of data is in its quality, not quantity. Not taking advantage of the potential benefits your data provides can leave you playing catch up with competitors and hurt your bottom line.

    The ability to turn raw information into actionable intelligence is crucial to understanding how to better serve customers and streamline processes, reduce costs and improve profit margins.

    In this blog, we look at 4 signs that indicate you need a business intelligence (BI) solution to better position your company for growth, and prevent instability.

    You lack actionable data

    The data your company generates is likely stored in multiple systems. While much of a company's data does sit in the ERP system, other sources like customer relationship management (CRM), spreadsheets, third-party systems and other databases will also contain vital information.

    Having data is one thing, but having the ability to turn it into actionable insights is where the real payoff is. Many businesses continue to operate with inadequate analytic and reporting tools because they're unaware of the benefits BI delivers. Some feel that their ERP system is capable of generating reports, or just place the responsibility onto the IT department. 

    Relying on an ERP system's limited reporting capabilities, or asking the IT team to build custom reports based on complex queries can be a significant drain on a company's resources. They might seem like cost-effective solution at face value, but they will quickly impact an organisation's ability to make quick decisions regarding day-to-day operations and inevitably lead to missed opportunities. 

    BI aggregates the data from your company’s various systems and gives you an easy-to-analyze single source of truth that can be used to help make more effective business decisions based on facts. It lets you ask questions of your data and keep drilling down to find out more.

    Reporting bottlenecks 

    Creating manual reports can take days and by the time it hits your desk, the information may no longer be useful. If it’s not a standard report generated monthly or quarterly, a longer turnaround time can be expected.

    Traditionally,
     reports are generated from a data source such as an ERP system. This usually requires making a detailed request to the IT department, which can be prone to misinterpretation and human error. Relying on manual reporting greatly impacts a company’s ability make quick decisions regarding day-to-day operations. 

    BI offers end-users without IT skills or technical knowledge access to data and makes it easy to generate their own reports in minutes. Reports can be scheduled for specific times such as every Monday morning and are easily customizable with just a few clicks.

    Most significantly, a good BI solution empowers a company’s entire team – at every level of the business – to analyze data and start making more informed decisions based on facts.

    Spreadsheet nightmares

    Analysing data through confusing spreadsheets can be frustrating. It's a highly manual process that is prone to error and often delivers outdated and inaccurate data.

    Often there are different versions of one spreadsheet, which are all being updated by different people at different times. This will inevitably lead to version-control issues and the possibility of multiple versions of the truth. Overall, using spreadsheets to analyze data is inefficient and can be ineffective, making analysis far more difficult than it should be.

    BI delivers accurate insights based on consolidated, real-time data and presents it in a way that is easy to understand. A good BI solution assembles your assorted datasets and provides lightning-fast information as a single grid, dashboard, chart or graph. 

    You are relying on static reports

    The reports you get from your ERP system or via spreadsheets lack the ability to perform trend analysis or deliver high-level data-driven insights. The information they do provide is referred to as 'static'.

    Static analytical reports don’t offer a lot of flexibility. Once a report is set up, you can’t change its basic structure. This may be okay for things like monthly and quarterly reporting, but if you want to dig deep into your data for analysis, static reports are insufficient.

    BI, on the other hand provides users with dynamic reporting. Dynamic reports can be created, manipulated, and modified at will. They are designed to give you the information you want, when you want it. You control how you view your data by adding, filtering and changing the information you see.

    With Phocas Software’s dynamic reporting, when you analyze sales results, for example, you can break down the information by territory, product or customer, and that’s just the beginning. Adding and removing dimensions as required involves a click of the mouse as opposed to an entirely new report.

    Simply put, Phocas dynamic reporting is immediate and intuitive.

    Why choose Phocas?

    If your company experiences any of these pain points, it’s time to implement a reputable BI solution. Companies that do not use BI are at risk of making decisions based on inconsistent data, or outdated data resulting from inefficient processes.

    Phocas simplifies the way businesses make critical decisions by integrating data from your ERP, CRM, spreadsheets, or other sources in a simple-to-use solution that is easy to understand, and designed for anyone in your company to use.

    The leading BI solution presents data in a lightning fast grid that you can drill into based on the information you want to find.

    Phocas helps thousands of manufacturing, distribution and retail customers around the world analyze data to identify opportunities, grow profits and increase efficiencies.

    Would you like  to learn more about the benefits business intelligence can have for your business?  Download our eBook about the KPIs and metrics you should know and measure. Simply click here, or on the button below.

    Click here to download your executive KPIs eBook

    Written by Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
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