How to Turn Data Into Business Value for Small and Midsize Enterprises
We know that you are under pressure to be a leaner business and to increase your bottom line. With regards to the current situation, the pressure for small to medium-sized businesses is even more intense since you have to ensure the safety of your staff, to comply with local and global restriction, and to compete with larger companies that have more resources on hand to navigate this crisis. At N’ware, we help our clients compete by getting smarter about their data and by leveraging BI to maximize efficiency and returns. The good news: you don’t have to boil the ocean to get going!
How do you transform data into business intelligence?
Chances are you already have a wealth of data at your disposal. The problem is knowing where it is, how to access it, and how to combine it with other sources to get the full enterprise picture, including important data that is possibly hidden today.
The key is integration to avoid unnecessary data entry, re-entry, and copying and pasting from various software programs. If this describes your organization today, then you are losing valuable time and money, not to mention the fact that your data may be out of date, and therefore, inaccurate, and potentially misleading.
That’s when you know it’s time to start the BI crawl, walk and run. Here are our recommended steps:
1-CRAWL by leveraging what you already have.
By implementing a BI tool, you can provide easy access to existing data. This will eliminate the manual gathering of data from multiple sources. Your new, central repository will enable you to model and analyze information. For example, N’ware offers a turn-key BI solution called N’Sight that brings analytics within reach for small and medium-sized businesses, which seamlessly integrates with SAP Business One and is available for other ERPs.
Regardless of your chosen solution, you will want to look for an affordable, easy-to-use analytics platform that can be implemented in just a few days. You will also want to be sure your solution offers out-of-the-box configuration options and reports. A good place to start may be with the implementation of analytics modules such as finance/accounting or sales intelligence, and then focus on the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your organization. Last, but not least, your chosen solution should be accessible from any browser-based device for enhanced user experience and agility.
2-WALK by extending the reach of your BI strategy.
Another step to scale your BI strategy is to transition towards a cross-departmental approach and include other key areas of your business, such as warehouse operations, procurement, inventory/stocks optimization, or sales analytics (if you are not doing it already!).
As a result, you will able to provide custom access to relevant dashboards and reports for relevant individuals and job roles to encourage faster and smarter decision making in their departments. With N’Sight, the people accessing your data don’t have to be licensed SAP/ERP users, as the analytics platform is accessible through web browser technology and with most devices.
By showing only the data needed for that user, you can prioritize data by importance and speed up workflows. By presenting the data in meaningful ways using visual graphics and reporting, decision making becomes faster and more accurate in each of your departments.
3-RUN by getting behind the wheel of your BI strategy.
Once you have standardized Business Intelligence usage across your organization, and have possibly created your own Center of Excellence (CoE) to foster in-house collaboration, a time will come where you might want to take a look into even more specialized reporting and dashboard personalization. You may want to tackle self-service and create your own visualizations, or you can leverage our expertise so we can work together to extend your analytic platform beyond the pre-built models to suit your unique needs.
It is important to note that many small and medium businesses may not reach that “last stage”. Our preconfigured dashboards and reports were designed according to industry best-practices and based on hundreds of ERP implementations.
Many SMBs have traditionally shied away from BI and analytics solutions due to budget or complexity concerns. But the reality now is that IT solutions are within the smaller companies’ reach and will definitely provide a competitive edge to early adopters.
Knowledge really is power, and when you see patterns, you can see the top contributors (and detractors) to your bottom line. That’s when BI fuels important decisions and changes, allowing you to foresee market trends and foster predictable and profitable growth.
Whether you choose to crawl, walk, or run, we can help you keep pace with market demands and stay ahead of your competition. Contact us today to find out more about the N’ware BI solution and how it can grow your bottom line.