3 ways to make more fact-based decisions with Business Intelligence
Most companies now have more data available than ever before. But there are still many businesses finding it difficult to gain an overview of the information they have collected, and a lot of manual work is devoted to compiling reports and supporting data, which are soon out of date. Most companies have a vision to become more data-driven, and according to Gartner more than half of the data analysis services in medium-sized enterprises will be performed by machines rather than people as early as in 2022. Despite this, there is still a degree of uncertainty among IT managers about how they should use the data that exists within the organisation to drive growth and efficiency.
How data analysis creates business value and efficiency
Using BI (Business Intelligence) solutions, data from the various systems in a company is automatically compiled and visualised. This creates greater transparency and better insights, as all employees have access to data and statistics in real time at organisation, unit or group level. The information is updated automatically, which means that well-grounded decisions can be made at the right time. BI solutions can also improve efficiency, as the time that used to be spent on compiling reports and supporting data can instead be spent on more value-adding tasks.
Here are three ways to improve your company’s competitiveness with the aid of Business Intelligence and data analysis:
1. Data-driven sales management
Common challenges facing sales management teams can involve getting a clear overview of their sales pipeline or difficulties in being proactive in managing sales. Although many companies put a lot of hard work into creating sales reports, it is still difficult to gain an overall perspective of the whole sales journey and communicate the information to other parts of the business.
With the aid of automated BI solutions, data can be collected from the company’s systems and compiled in visual form. Which can create a better overview of, for example, completed deals or the sales pipeline. The company itself decides to which individuals the information is to be visible. It could be, for example, for the whole company, a selected business area, a specific team or for different stages in the sales process.
The effect and business value of data-driven sales management is a clear, shared view of the commercial situation that can be communicated across the entire company. Which creates new opportunities to join forces to achieve common goals.
See our case study about the sales organisation that uses Business Intelligence for better insights for a practical example of data-driven sales management.
2. Decision data for greater efficiency
In data-driven organisations, management has the opportunity to create greater competitive strength by making fact-based decisions, using data to create innovation and driving the digitalisation process forwards. Using data analysis also makes it possible to link the company’s overall strategy to the business, which gives a clear picture of how strategy and operational capacity fit together.
The challenges facing management can consist of identifying common denominators and drawing conclusions from incoming data relating to cost efficiency. To give an example, it can be difficult to draw conclusions about increased costs for a team of employees and why costs are increasing more quickly than net sales or other comparative data.
By using incoming data in the form of the team’s efficiency (response time, cases resolved within agreed time frame and which types of case are most common in the department), you can start to measure efficiency and see it in real time.
With the aid of the base data in the BI solution, delivery managers can identify the types of cases that are common and time-consuming for their staff. Based on this information, it is easier to define procedures for processing specific types of cases and significantly reduce the processing time, thereby reducing costs.
3. Control cash flow and achieve growth
Rapidly expanding businesses can find that cash flow becomes a bottleneck for continued growth. Even though all new deals concluded are profitable, lead times from a contract being signed to payment being received can be so long that cash flow becomes a limiting factor for the rate of growth.
For finance departments, this means that a lot of time is spent on continuously monitoring liquidity and producing forecasts for the cash level in future periods – all in order to minimise the risk of being in a situation where they are forced to delay payments or face challenges in paying wages on time. Time-consuming work that does not always see efforts rewarded to the extent you might wish.
Using a BI solution to monitor and forecast cash flow and liquidity provides an opportunity to read about and interpret data from the finance systems and to have a visual dashboard showing current and forecast liquidity, and forecast liquidity by date, over future periods. This enables a finance manager to achieve a better overview and the rate of growth can be increased.
Develop your business with Business Intelligence
Is your business facing a challenge that can be solved with the aid of data analysis, automation or BI solutions? Learn how in our white paper on digitalisation with several inspiring case studies or get in touch with one of our experts in the field of business-oriented services.