Data is everywhere in our business world today, but a majority of companies across various industries have yet to invest in a dedicated role for data analysis. That’s what 64% of the 350 global finance, operations and business leaders surveyed in Vena’s 2020 Industry Benchmark Report identified as an organizational shortfall when it came to investments in data and data-driven decision making.
With so much data readily available, how are businesses missing out by not investing in the data experts and data analysis tools needed to capitalize on it?
Why Is Data Analysis Important?
Data analysis is the lifeline of a business. Not only does it help you understand how your business is doing at every level and across every function, it also informs you on what must be done to keep driving your business forward. To get to those business insights, you need the data analysts who don’t see data as merely numbers and figures.
Data experts view data as your company’s goldmine of information. There’s no guesswork in what they do with your data. They know how to use business analytics to improve business processes and maximize performance across the organization. They can dissect data to identify patterns and trends in order to understand customer behaviors. They thrive on analyzing and interpreting the data in meaningful ways to provide the decision-making insights necessary to ensure growth and success.
So how can you empower your data analysts to make the most of your business data? Let’s look at the business-wide reporting and analysis tools they need to get started.
Business Tools for Data Analysis and Reporting
Management thinker Peter Ducker said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” For businesses, these words particularly ring true. Collecting, sorting and storing copious amounts of data on a daily basis is one thing, but if the data is not being used to measure all parts of your business, how is it streamlining and scaling your plan to grow?
Leveraging technology that allows you to integrate data from source systems, such as your ERP, HRIS and CRM, into a centralized database will enable you to connect the dots between departments and systems. And with automatic data loading, your finance team and data experts can work in a collaborative workspace and always be sure that they have access to the most current actuals. From there, your teams can plan with the power of unified data from across your organization and gather information from the past and present to see what’s working and what’s not for your business, identifying early warning signals along the way.
Those capabilities will feed processes, such as forecasting and scenario modeling, so you can better determine and prepare for how market shifts, sudden changes or unexpected situations might impact your business. And when paired with the ability to generate ad-hoc reports and to conduct a deeper analysis using tools such as Power BI, it will be easy for your teams to simplify complex data sets and visualize your data in real time.
Leveraging data visualizations and dashboards will enable your teams to turn those numbers into a narrative that will drive more informed decision-making across your organization. By honing in on your most important KPIs and by building custom reports that focus on specific measurements, your analysts will always be ready to deliver the data-driven insights you need in a language everyone will understand.
Investments in Data Analysis for Business Success
The payoff for businesses investing in data and data-driven decision making is clear. In addition to the many benefits that include identifying early warning signals, developing a deep understanding of customer behavior, creating new business opportunities, finding ways to improve business processes, reducing expenses, supporting growth and more, the power of unified data to deliver actionable insights and reports will set the stage for business success. And with everyone on the same page in a truly collaborative, cross-company planning process, planning for today and tomorrow could not be any easier.