The beauty of using Business Intelligence (BI) tools in conjunction with enterprise systems, like an ERP, is the amount of data that can be harvested to uncover deeper understanding of business drivers. Some data types are more obvious than others and this article is intended to stimulate thinking of the potential business insights possible through BI dashboards.
|“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana|
Financial data is an apparent use for BI in conjunction with ERP data. Many companies track typical balance sheet financial metrics like revenue, profit, and equity. Another area many companies measure includes cash flow with measures like Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) or Accounts Payable (AP) turnover. BI empowers businesses to double-click on the details to optimize processes to proactively improve their cash position and strengthen their financial performance. Examples of processes to examine and enhance include Accounts Receivable (AR), AP, and Inventory Management. Companies can visualize data and trends using dashboards to find examples of best practices to repeat and inefficiencies that can be eliminated.
By leveraging historical data, leaders can find trends and points of inflection to drive enhancements and efficiencies. Some examples of using this type of trend analysis include optimizing preventive maintenance schedules for equipment. Another example would be looking at the company’s ability to forecast revenue, sales, and expenditures. By comparing forecasts vs actuals over time, a company may identify people who have developed best practices or models to share with the rest of the organization. Historical data can help companies look at the adoption rate of new systems by looking at the number of users over time, mean time for each process step to see if users become more proficient, and of course the use of reporting and dashboards.
Customer satisfaction is another key business and performance objective enhanced by BI reporting on metrics such as invoice rejection rate, customer retention rates, and on-time delivery. As mentioned above, BI and dashboards enable drill-down functionality to look for outliers and incorporate changes to processes to take advantage of opportunities and reduce risks.
BI also has the key to unlocking insights into productivity boosts. Consider leveraging historical data to look at transactions by employee, active system time by employee, processing or wait times, rework, utilization data for both human and capital investments, and labor time vs. goods produced.
Better data drives better business decisions.
Faster data enables faster business decisions.
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Capital Edge Consulting is a professional services company comprised of adept problem solvers who deliver tangible results to address today’s most complex U.S. government contracting challenges. Capital Edge helps clients address the challenging regulatory, contractual, and compliance requirements of U.S. federal contracts and we have experience working with a wide variety of industries that provide goods or services to the federal government including industries such as biotech and healthcare, nuclear energy, education, information technology, non-profit, professional services, defense, and software.