What are your company’s objectives for 2019? What data are you using to back this up?  Companies are drowning in the deluge of data they generate every day. Yet many are struggling to access the information they need to make critical decisions. 

We have identified four ways to recognize when a company needs an analytics solution to help them retrieve information that lives in their data. If you recognize any one of these indicators, it is probably time to seriously consider whether data analytics is right for you.  

 A lack of actionable data

Your company likely has a wealth of data stored in disparate sources. Without the ability to access it, it’s nearly impossible to perform in-depth analysis or uncover trends quickly because you must rely on IT to generate custom reports.  Without access to its historical data, a company lacks the ability to see the full picture of their company’s health and performance.  A partial picture leads to inaccurate insights and decisions being made based on gut-instinct rather than facts.  

Data analytics offers the ability to access your data and perform an in-depth analysis along a variety of different metrics. This provides a 360-degree view of what’s really happening in your company. The ability to follow your train of thought as you query your data will lead you to actionable insights so decision-makers can formulate a strategic course of action.  

Reporting is slow

Many managers are all too familiar with the time-consuming, and often frustrating, wait for IT-generated reports. While traditional static reporting provides important high-level summary information, they don’t offer much detail. Due to the delayed wait for these reports, they’re often outdated by the time they are returned to your desk.

Although high-level summary reports are still available, analytics offers more detailed and dynamic reporting. A user is able to click through the data in a dynamic report to drill down into the underlying information. For instance, a high-level summary may show that a company is meeting expected targets, but with just a few clicks, a sales manager may see that one branch is performing well above expectations, whereas another is underperforming.

Your company has outgrown Excel

Traditionally, company data is stored in multiple sources such as ERP and CRM systems. When more than one source is used, it is typically manually imported into spreadsheets. This tedious process is prone to errors. An error in a single cell is difficult to identify and can throw off the entire report. Version control can be another challenge when using spreadsheets. Several different users may update the reports. This means multiple versions may be floating around the office.  Security may also be a concern when working with spreadsheets. Your company may have sensitive data being shared via email or USB stick making it prone to security threats.  Lastly, if time-sensitive information collected cannot be analyzed quickly, this can lead to unreliable analysis and poor decision-making.

If your analytics needs have outgrown the restrictions of spreadsheet reporting, it is time to consider data analytics. A top-tier solution funnels your data from multiple sources and stores it in one centralized location. Having one single source eliminates the risk of human error. Because the data is continuously updating in real-time, when it is explored and reports are generated you always have the most current version of the facts. In addition, solutions like Phocas come with the ability to restrict user access so employees only see the data that is relevant to their role. While spreadsheets have many important uses, they cannot meet the analytics needs of growing companies.     

No dashboard view of company performance 

It’s difficult to find important information without a means to view your key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time. In order to execute critical decisions, managers have access to strategic information such as sales statistics, supply chain data, and cost analyses without having to hunt it down or wait for a report.

Data analytics are designed with a dynamic dashboard to provide users with a real-time, visual presentation of key metrics. A dashboard can be customized to present a variety of vital statistics, alerts, and trends. This information can be presented in numerical or graphical formats so the information is easily understood in the moment.  While dashboards can show a high-level summary, they help users also navigate minute-to-minute concerns through more in-depth analysis. 

If your company has grown to the point where you need the ability to access timely, accurate, and actionable information, it is a good idea consider implementing a data analytics solution.  The result is improved efficiency, performance, and the ability to rely less on gut instinct and more on facts. Whether analyzing customer purchasing behavior, evaluating the performance of your sales team, or managing your stock flow, analytics will uncover information you need to improve your company’s bottom line.

For more information on how data analytics software can benefits your business, download this eBook, data analytics trends for 2019 or click the button below.

Get the 2019 trends eBook 

Tags: Business Intelligence Basics, Job Role - Inventory/Operations, Job Role - Marketing

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