Faster decision making is easy, you just need better data

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To stay competitive in a fast-moving digital economy, you need to be on top of exactly what is happening in your business – enter Business Intelligence (BI).

With traditional monthly reporting, critical information is caught up in manual processes and financial reporting cycles.

When reports are finally published, the information is often hard to digest, or doesn’t give you the insights you need.

Business Intelligence (BI) is about putting meaningful information into the right hands at the right time. That way, businesses can gain insight and make strategic, proactive decisions based on the data.

Insights at your fingertips

To understand what BI is, it helps to think about information management without it: static monthly reports pulled together half-way through the following month, and a team of people struggling with late data, mismatched numbers, manual processes and spreadsheet errors.

Without the right information, being able to act strategically and make informed, business-critical decisions is incredibly difficult.

To make matters worse, most business reporting is backwards looking, referencing historical data to keep decision makers informed about what is happening.

But if there’s been a critical error in your business resulting in lost sales, margin erosion or cost overruns, finding out after the fact is too late. Having the ability to see your business data in real time empowers you to fix issues as they happen.

That’s why, according to Gartner , more than 50 percent of businesses will rely on BI by 2018.

The tools for success

BI can provide knowledge and insights customised to answer your questions.

You get invaluable visibility through fully automated, flexible reports that collate data in real time from across the business.

Data is presented in a simplified format – on a dashboard, for example – so you and your team can spend less time writing and interpreting reports and more time using them to grow your business strategically.

BI gives you the tools to see your business in new ways.

READ: The what, when, and how of ERP software

You can explore your data, ask new questions and uncover opportunities.

ComputerWorld found that 71 percent of businesses implemented BI to grow revenue , while 65 percent used it to control costs and reduce risk.

Visibility at Vadacom

Research shows that businesses using BI report significant improvements in customer support, competitive intelligence, sales process, operations, cost management and product development.

Vadacom, a rapidly growing phone technology business, is a good example of the power of Business Intelligence.

The company provides phone technology to over 500 workplaces across New Zealand and Australia.

As the business grew, a lack of transparency across multiple revenue streams was starting to create real headaches.

An upgrade to a cloud ERP platform from MYOB gave it the visibility to drive the business further.

“We needed to properly assess each department’s performance, as well as comparing our direct sales with those of the resellers,” said Vadacom Financial Controller Lena Ostrovsky.

“We can do all that now with our online ERP [MYOB Advanced] – assess the profitability of each department, and also the performance of each of our sales staff.”

Key insights at Cardinal

Cardinal Logistics is one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing logistics companies, specialising in distribution and storage solutions, with a strong focus on grocery products and other fast-moving consumer goods.

Their Auckland facility alone moves 134,000 pallets every year.

They were using an ad-hoc system of spreadsheets, emails, and manual data entry to respond to customer complaints and claims.

After adopting an ERP system, Cardinal have found that access to up-to-date, accurate business information has made a huge difference to both day-to-day operations and long-term strategic decision making.

“With our ERP [MYOB Greentree] we’ve now been able to basically empower our managers to start thinking about what information they want,” said Commercial Manager Janina Massee.

“They’re starting to ask us for management reports and business intelligence information, which gives them key insights into how they’re operating their business and what areas they need to concentrate on.”

“It’s very exciting and encouraging to have such quality information. It has the ability to grow our business and is a delightful system to use.”

Business Intelligence for your business

Why waste any more time on ineffective business information? BI can transform your business reporting.

Here’s how a BI system can give you greater insight into your business:

  • Dashboard reporting – drive your daily decision-making with customised, easy-to-read data highlighting key metrics
  • Job costing – analyse the profitability of a job by pulling together material, labour and production costs on the spot
  • Supply chain insights – get business-critical information on your supply chain, including historical sales, stock levels, outstanding purchase orders and estimated arrival dates
  • What-if analysis – make faster decisions with the ability to analyse how costs, prices and volumes will affect your margins

With Business Intelligence, you give your entire team the tools they need to make more effective strategic decisions – to drive your business and get ahead of the competition.