Harmonising your Data to Provide a Single Source of Truth

The amount of data your company produces is significant and not taking advantage of it can hurt your bottom line. The ability to turn raw information into actionable intelligence is crucial to understanding how to better serve customers and streamline processes, reduce costs and improve profit margins.

The data your company generates is likely stored in multiple systems. While much of your data may sit in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, customer relationship management (CRM), spreadsheets, third-party systems and other databases will also contain vital information.

Business intelligence (BI) collects all the data for you

BI aggregates all the data from your various systems and gives you a single source of truth, making it easy to analyze. A good BI solution will let you ask questions of your data to make critical decisions based on facts.
Companies that do not use BI are at risk of making decisions based on inconsistent data. While a sales manager might be using historical data from your CRM system, your CEO might be basing decisions on data stored in your ERP system, leading to conflicting interpretations of the right course of action. Using a single source of data can reveal trends and present opportunities to better position your company for growth, and prevent instability.

Your finance department can use BI to simplify processes by giving users access to profit and loss (P&L), balance sheets and cash flow information applicable to their role. Managers save time by reducing the number of reports it prepares for various departments and can still restrict access when and where appropriate.

Inventory managers can use BI to track stock levels by branch, store, or your distribution centres and presents a consolidated view of your data. Carrying too much stock can be as damaging to your bottom line as carrying too little, so getting levels right is important.

Why choose Phocas BI?

Phocas simplifies the way businesses make critical decisions by integrating data from your MYOB ERP, SalesForce CRM, spreadsheets, or other data sources in a simple-to-use solution that is easy to understand, and designed for anyone in your company to use.

The leading BI solution presents data in a live analysis grid that you can drill into based on the questions you ask, slicing and dicing to get the answers you need.

5 Things you Didn’t Know you Could Get out of your Sales Data

Companies have traditionally relied on ERP systems to collect and combine this information. While ERP systems are great at streamlining processes, and giving you a comprehensive view of the business from an operational perspective, combining it with a business intelligence (BI) solution can help you make even better data-driven decisions.

This blog looks at five ways BI can help you save time, reduce costs and improve profit margins.

Improve sales

BI helps you better understand your customers’ buying habits and identify where there is potential profit through effective cross-selling and upselling.
Cross-selling is when your sales team makes additional solutions available to the customer, while upselling is converting an initial offer into a more profitable order by the way of additional units, or a premium version. Both techniques are effective ways of increasing revenue from your existing customer base.

Uncover missed sales opportunities 

BI makes it easy to identify missed sales opportunities. You can quickly see if customers’ buying behaviour is in decline and act before they stop buying altogether. You can also look at what products they are buying and use your data to identify where you can add value with cross-selling offers.

Enhance sales team effectiveness

BI lets you identify where sales are performing well, and more importantly where sales teams, and even individual salespeople, can improve with additional training and/or support. You can gain insights into the best performing region(s), and those that may require action.

Be in control of your data

A good BI solution lets you analyze data based on your train of thought.

You might want to see sales data for February and then drill down into specific brands and even products to find out more. BI collects and converts data locked away in your systems and gives you the flexibility to ask questions of it.

Improve budgets

Use Phocas to closely monitor and react to your sales performance. You can quickly see how you are performing over a period of time and easily compare that to your budget for that period. Being able to monitor performance and budgets on a regular basis helps you adjust to trends and other fluctuations, and makes it easy to modify decisions and course of action to ensure objectives are achieved.

Why choose Phocas?

Phocas lets you do advanced analytics in an intuitive grid which becomes the single source of truth for company-wide analysis. Information is available to anyone, anytime and you don’t have to be a spreadsheet expert to use it.

If you’re interested in learning how to use your data to streamline processes, reduce costs and improve profit margins, check out this blog on the Metrics that Matter.

Data and Metrics – what’s the difference?

A successful organization measures its performance meticulously, and what it decides to measure is tied to its definition of success. There is a difference between numbers and numbers that matter. This is what separates data from metrics.

Let’s look at revenue. Your company might be performing well with sales, showing that revenue is high. By measuring revenue alone, it might appear that your business is thriving. But you might also have high – and unnecessary – expenditures, which impacts profit margins. All of a sudden, your impressive revenue metrics are less significant to the overall success of the organization.

Your data won’t change, but your metrics will

Your data never changes. You might choose to use it a lot, or very little, but your data will remain consistent and provide you with a single source of truth. Metrics, however, are what companies use to measure their performance.

Some metrics organizations might choose to measure include:

  • Sales team performance – are sales teams (and sales individuals) regularly contacting customers? Who is selling lower margin products or fewer products than other team members?
  • Inventory levels – carrying too much stock can be as damaging to your bottom line as carrying too little. Measuring stock on hand lets you maintain efficient processes and helps ensure you deliver in full and on time (DIFOT).
  • Customer retentionaccording to Forbes, “it’s a lot less expensive to keep current customers than to acquire new ones.” Customer retention is a useful metric to measure to reflect your company’s customer satisfaction.
  • Recurring revenue – this is revenue that is most likely to be repetitive. It is revenue that is predictable and stable and offers a high degree of certainty.
  • Customer lifetime value – this can be defined as the dollar value of a customer relationship. Many organizations use this metric as a prediction of the net profit of the entire relationship.
  • Competitive pricing – as consumers, we look out for the best deals. So it makes sense to analyze and respond to our competitors and their pricing structures. Competitive pricing is setting the price of a product or service based on what the competition is charging.
  • Customer satisfaction – this is an important metric to measure. A stated above, it’s more valuable to retain customers than to spend time, money and other resources acquiring them.

Monitor your business with the right metrics

To track and measure the metrics, you need to have access to a sophisticated and user-friendly business intelligence solution. You can quickly and easily access your data and effectively measure your key metrics with Phocas Software, which provides users with a user-friendly solution for all skill levels that becomes your single source of truth.

Phocas Software helps thousands of manufacturing, distribution and retail customers around the world use data to identify opportunities, grow profits and increase efficiencies. It’s an intuitive, user-friendly solution for all skill levels that become your single source of truth. For more information, please download the free factsheet below.

 

Living in a Business Intelligence Revolution

In the words of digital marketing expert Mark Egan, “it’s life 2.0. We wake up in the morning and check our Twitter feed, get home at night and respond to our Facebook messages, Instagramming our kids, cats and meals at all opportunities in between.”

So what does this new world mean for business – especially for busy executives or sales managers trying to stay ahead of the game? Well it’s time to adapt and embrace the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Business intelligence (BI) software is revolutionary for businesses in every sense of the word. It drives industry trends, unleashes and simplifies data in a way never seen before and continues to grow the evolution of data visualisation tools.

BI was once something only large organisation with deep, deep pockets and an IT team to match could have. Today, with products like Phocas, each and every organisation can access their data via easy to read dashboards that allows every single person in an organization to drill deeper into the data. This provides unprecedented insights into the business and aids decision making as well as creating clear deliverable actions – no more basing decisions on gut-feels or hunches.

So what are some of the ways BI has revolutionized business?

  • fast, accurate decision making (by each employee)
  • clear insights into consumer/supplier behavior
  • improved visibility (one view of the truth)
  • ability to turn your data into actionable tasks
  • improve efficiency across entire organizations
  • generate product and sales reports fast, without any need for IT or Excel specialists
  • use direction-setting analytics to grow your business – sell more commodity products, get your high margin products ready for just-in-time delivery
  • prevent customer leakage through analysis of purchase, aftersales, repurchase information.

But don’t just take our word for how good BI software is and the benefits it can have for your business. Take a look at what the respected and independent BARC user survey says. BARC compiled the world’s largest BI software review with over 3,000 users of 35 BI companies. To download the BARC report (released in October 2015), click here.