Competition21CFOs and finance organizations, today’s acknowledged catalysts for improved performance and risk mitigation, face enormous challenges. They must balance a number of tasks for their enterprises, while keeping an eye on the tell-tale signs of the changing business environment. Because of this, organizations are changing the nature of how they plan. An enterprise-wide business intelligence solution is a rock-solid component that can change the nature of your organization.

Every company, everywhere, has data, and that data is always growing. What a lot of companies have yet to realize is that their data has all of the answers. Do you remember taking a test when you were young, and wishing you had the answers to the test before you took it? Your data is those answers, and it puts you head-and-shoulders above the rest of your competition – if you know how to understand it.

Understanding your data can be a challenge, but it is critical for successfully running a business. Business intelligence is growing rapidly. According to this infographic by Boston University, 75% of businessmen and women will employ business analytics and intelligence by the year 2020. The world we live in today is unbelievably competitive, and we have to constantly look for ways to gain competitive advantage.

My tip? Keep a close eye on your competition. What your competitors, or those who are constantly surpassing you, know could help you. Business intelligence is the key to gaining the advantage you need. The competition is even more fierce once you employ a business intelligence solution in your organization, and you have to keep on your toes.

3 signs your competition has better business intelligence than you

1. Your competition is easily identifying growth opportunities. You have been keeping an eye on your competition and it seems that they are always one step ahead of you. They are coming up with new ideas and patterns and jumping at every chance they can to grow their business. Their business intelligence is helping them look through a new lens and generate new ideas that your business has failed to see. The daily single version of the truth is simple enough to consume quickly and keeps the management team focused on the key metrics that are on the path to achieving the primary business goals.

2. Competitors are making decisions faster. You are suddenly realizing that your competition has more knowledge about their data because they are making decisions rapidly with each piece of new information they are learning. You can be rich in data, but it doesn’t mean you are rich in insight. 59% of CFOs agree that business analytics address the most crucial areas (decision making and facilitating analysis). Your competition’s ability to have their questions answered quickly means that their decisions will be made faster.

3. Competitors have ever-increasing revenue. Your competition is growing, they are making decisions quickly, and they are growing revenue and in turn driving profit. 54% of business professionals believe that their companies need to be more analytics-driven to stay competitive. And it is true. If your competition is surpassing you, there is more in the world of business intelligence that you can do. There is a never-ending amount of information in your data that can actually help you surpass your competition. Analytical insight can maximize loyalty and revenue by extending the right offer at the right time to the right consumer, as well as build personal interactions between company and consumer.

Savvy organizations are forging ahead with integrated planning strategies for managing performance and are recording impressive revenues and profits. These companies exercise improved decision making in all their business functions because they have a system of capabilities to help them with:

  • Rapid response to change
  • A holistic view of their key business functions created by understanding and modeling the interdependencies of business drivers that span multiple functions
  • Timely visibility of performance gaps
  • Insight into new objectives, performance targets and contingency plans that can make an impact

Companies with solutions move more quickly, gain more insight, answer questions faster. So how do you compete? By taking advantage of the best business intelligence solutions available. There is always more to learn. Your data, while sometimes overwhelming, has all of the answers for your company to succeed. It is those organizations that have the greater, most enlightening answers that will surpass you in the business world. Recognize why your competition is winning the race, pick up speed, and beat them to the finish line.



2015 is coming to an end, and so has your budgeting season.  If you have been reading along, or even if you haven’t, here are a few facts we learned through different surveys and research throughout the year.

A study by Grant Thorton, LLP shows that only 36% of businesses use scenarios and “what-if” analyses to re-check possible outcomes of a strategy.

A study by F1F showed that, out of 1,200 senior managers surveyed yielded stastics like “17% of large businesses suffered financial loss due to poor spreadsheets, and 78% say that key financial decisions are supported by spreadsheets.”

Companies spend weeks or even months completing the annual budgeting process, because it is so important. But too many companies fail to supplement the annual budget with planning activities that could strengthen performance management, gain competitive advantage, and of course drive profit!

Read our white paper to figure out how NOT to be a statistic in 2016, and instead stay ahead of the competition. 

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8-potentialPwC and Iron Mountain have just recently released their “first-ever information value index.” The research was meant to discover how well organizations use their data for competitive advantage. Time and time again we find the same issue is consistent in so many organizations–they just aren’t using the full potential of their data. This survey found that the disconnect between actual insight findings compared to the amount of information available is pretty staggering.

“Data is the lifeblood of the digital economy. It can give insight, inform decisions and deepen relationships. It can be bought, sold, shared and even stolen, all things that suggest data has value.” But the research from this study show that many organizations are not treating their data like it is valuable, and even MORE don’t realize how valuable that data can be. “More concerning, many do not yet have the capabilities we would expect to manage, protect and extract that value.”

  • A mere 4% of businesses can extract full value from the information they hold. 36% lack the tools and skills they need to extract the data in the first place.
  • 1 in 5 North American business leaders don’t employ data analysts to extract value from their information. Iron Mountain believe that it is the lack of risk that has lead to the lack of information. “It should be seen as a business priority that risk and value work in tandem, striking a balance between the need to protect information and extract the value that resides within it. There is a significant need for businesses to make information accessible to those with the necessary skills and tools to harness its value.”
  • We have identified a large ‘misguided majority’ – three in four businesses (76%) — that are either constrained by legacy, culture, regulatory data issues or simply lack any understanding of the potential value held by their information. They have little comprehension of the commercial benefits to be gained and have therefore not made the investment required to obtain the information advantage.

Despite that these findings may seem negative, the most exciting point to take away from this research is that the opportunity for competitive advantage is most likely staring your organization in the face. It’s just a matter of when you are ready to grasp it!