"Organizations are drowning in data, but starving for information," said Gary Corkins, analytics-based performance management expert and author. Everyday businesses are generating a deluge of data. Sifting through it all for vital information can be challenging. However, leveraging your data for enhanced business performance will give your company a substantial competitive advantage and is well worth the effort.
This blog will explain how to slice through your data jungle to find the gems. Because in the jungle you must be the most fit in order to survive.
Now vs. 20 years ago
The 1950s saw the emergence of business analytics. But back then, the features were limited to small, structured, internal data sources, and batch processing operations that would take months to complete. It wasn't until the early 2000s that Google began to discover, collect and analyze a new type of data that was qualitatively different from small data. Thus, the term 'Big Data' was coined. This launched the development of new technologies to help companies turn this new data into actionable insights. Today, many experts believe we have reached the third generation of data analytics in the form of Predictive Analytics, with the ability to identify and respond to emerging trends. Companies that are able to capture, organize, and analyze their data and predict emerging trends are able to make better business decisions and stay ahead of their competitors.
Fact vs. fiction
Many executives rely on their hard-won experience and "killer instincts" when making business decisions. While these instincts and expertise may have enabled the company to grow and move forward, relying only on gut feeling can lead to costly mistakes. We are only human and our gut feelings are subjective. They are based on our personal experiences, perspectives, belief systems, and values, and so are prone to errors. This can lead to overestimating profitability, missed opportunities, and unnecessary expenditures. On the other hand, data has no bias. It is based solely on the facts. Data can show you which customers are in decline and require follow up care, for instance. Removing the guesswork will save time that can be allocated to other important tasks such a creating a new marketing campaign or sales presentation.
It’s a jungle – where do you go?
Every organization has a jungle of data with more being collected every day. The volume of data generated by CRM, SCM, ERP, and other systems can be overwhelming. Implementing business intelligence (BI) offers the ability to drill down into your data to discover actionable insights, discover trends, and make better business decisions. Due to the unbiased nature of your data, it will enable different departments to make the decisions that will benefit their specific domains. Examples of data points relevant to specific departments include:
- Sales vs. Target
- Lost customers
- Cross-sell opportunities
- Stock on hand
- Dead stock
- Budget vs. Actual
- Costs of travel, business lunches and more
- Profitability of the rebates program
- An overview of key metrics across departments
- Customer profitability, stock adjustments and price overrides
However, individual metrics only focus on a small portion of the larger picture. When all of the pieces are combined to reveal the whole truth, you can see things like where to cut costs, increase revenue, and improve operational efficiency. For instance, sales reps informed with real-time product information, pricing and customer details will be able to use these strategic insights to increase sales and identify new opportunities. The warehouse team will be able to monitor the same sales data and adjust their purchasing to avoid stocking items that aren't selling well and might become dead stock.
Arm yourself with the facts through Phocas
A BI solution such as Phocas enables executives and managers to rely less on instinct and more on data. Whether analyzing customer buying patterns, managing stock levels, or evaluating sales team performance; Phocas finds the actionable insights in your data. With more than 15 years of experience and thousands of users worldwide, Phocas is a solution that offers whole-business benefits. Our out-of-the-box integration and user-friendly design have our customers up and running in no time. This translates to a swift ROI.
When you have access to an unbiased view of the truth, you are able to effectively manage your businesses growth. Phocas has consistently performed best-in-class in BARC's reviews. This means you can trust that Phocas to help you maximize your bottom line.
To learn more about the specific KPIs you can measure in BI to steer your company towards success, click here or on the button below.