Simplify Your Analytics Strategy

AnalyticsAnalytics can challenge your organization. Data is so abundant that the complexity and confusion of it all can be overwhelming. When you sit down and try to analyze everything, you just don’t know where to start, or where to go. But Narendra Mulani, the senior managing director at Accenture Analytics has some sage advice: recognize what is important & what your analytics should be doing for every aspect of your organization.

If even that seems overwhelming, there’s one more step—simplify. “Pursue a simpler path to uncovering insight:”

1. Accelerate the Data: “Fast data = fast insight = fast outcomes.” When an environment is created that accelerates your data, your organization can manage that data much quicker. Getting the data you need in real-time improves many aspects of your business.

2. Delegate the work to your analytics technologies with

  • Next generation Business Intelligence & Data Visualization
  • Data discovery
  • Analytics applications
  • Machine learning and cognitive computing

3. Recognize that each path to data insight is unique. With data, elements are always changing and new obstacles come into play that challenge your data. There will always be new questions, and different answers that solve the dilemma of each question. “No matter what combination of culture and technology exists for a business, each path to analytics insight should be individually paved with an outcome-driven mindset.”

By taking these three steps, your analytics strategy will be simplified and so will the way your organization is run. It’s rare that simplicity can seem like it is enough, but with your big data and analytics processes, simple is beneficial.

How to Avoid the Top 3 Costly Reporting Mistakes

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Many organizations are slow to change their reporting, even knowing it’s not as beneficial as it could be. This BPM Partners white paper on How to Avoid the Top 3 Costly Reporting Mistakes analyzes why it is a necessity to have a good reporting system–it is essential to becoming a profitable business. There should be no reason to be at a competitive disadvantage, so address the challenge.

The Top 3 Costly Reporting Mistakes:

1. Excessive Resource Requirements

– “More important, and often more complex, than the act of writing the report itself is finding the source and format of the appropriate data. This is a multi-resource task: the business user, an IT resource a business expert on the source system…Even if some of these roles can be combined into fewer individuals, the tasks are still many. All of these steps to get the right data are an opportunity for errors to enter the process.”

2. Decision Making without Adequate or Trusted Information

– Making a decision by a certain deadline with all of the information related to supporting that decision would enable you to make the best choice for your organization as possible. But this requires a management reporting system. If you don’t have all of the tools necessary, you will quickly move down a path of educated guesses instead of informed, confidently-made decisions.

3. Missed Opportunities

– “Without a solid performance management reporting capability it is more difficult to spot opportunities as well as rapidly adapt to market forces. This is not just about having ready access to reliable reports, but how these reports can help you intuitively focus on what matters. For these types of reports, the more visual cues the better…Highly visual and analytics-based reporting can help you identify opportunities that may be buried in the numbers.”

Many companies put improving their reporting system on the backburner, but here are three mistakes that are detrimental to your organization when you make that decision. There is no reason for any of the decisions you make to improve your organization to actually cost you time and revenue–instead, avoid them by enhancing your reporting system

 

5 KPIs That Will Create Financial Success

"KPI" Tag Cloud Globe (key performance indicator data targets)The key to any successful professional services organization meeting their financial objectives is the management of all revenue and cost information. The core financial management solution is the hub of all of this information. It must provide an infrastructure where costs and revenues can be easily be analyzed and where key members of the executive team can drill down to better understand areas of success in areas of improvement.

There are Five Key Performance Indicators that offer that infrastructure for greater financial success for professional services organizations:

  1.   Annual Revenue per Billable Consultant
  2.   Annual Revenue per Employee
  3.   Billable Utilization
  4.   Project Margin
  5.   Project Overrun

Professional services organizations must continue to focus delivering high-value and high-margin services in order to meet profit objectives. These five KPIs give organizations the ability to do that. It can be overwhelming to stare at your profit objectives and fear you may not meet them, but tracking these core financial metrics will make meeting profit objectives seem easy and exciting.

 

The Detriment of Spreadsheets

error_spreadsheetBI Solutions that eliminate the complicated use of spreadsheets create stronger, efficient organizations. In the last post I shared that the use of a business intelligence tool eliminates spreadsheet errors and creates confidence in numbers.

FIF9 conducted research with YouGov and obtained empirical data about just how detrimental making an error in a spreadsheet can be to your business. It is understood that many people feel safe in familiarity. Where spreadsheet use may be complex, changing our ways can be equally as taxing. This study shows the negative effects staying in the “spreadsheet comfort-zone” can have on your organization. More notes and statistics on the use and abuse of spreadsheets can be found in the F1F9 study here.

The research was conducted with help over 1,200 UK-based senior managers

Data supports what we see in the market everyday: spreadsheets play a critical role in business decision making globally.

With a statistic like “17% of large business suffered financial loss due to poor spreadsheets,” it is necessary to read about an alternative solution. After all, 78% of British businesses say that key financial decisions are supported by spreadsheets.” As easy as it may be to stay safe, making a change in your processes can be exceedingly beneficial.