Navigating in a rapidly evolving business landscape can be a daunting task without the right tools at your disposal to steer you in the right direction. Professionals across the business require easily accessible business analytics that will provide insights into what their next steps should be. Many businesses are experiencing a data explosion. Everything comes in at once, leaving employees with very little time to analyse the data and take action. This highlights the need for a system that presents the right data, at the right time, in front of the right stakeholders. Businesses are turning to dashboards, exception reports and analytics to provide accurate insights into the financial and operational health of the organisation.
A typical ERP system will give you the platform to present the data in the ERP visually by plugging a BI layer on top of the database. The fundamental shortfall is the data management layer – you have to go beyond the face value of analytics if you want to create meaningful reports. Data management and analytics need to coexist in the business.
With Sage Data and Analytics (SDA), you have the power to present the information that’s in the ERP with information from other data sources. SDA’s smart data connectors automatically merge data from different sources, intelligently profiling all elements of it and making assumptions on relationships between each data set and removing the requirement to manually map relationships between data. Unified data means that the business has a 360-degree view of operations.
Need for dashboard reporting
Dashboards give users access to the right information allowing them to report on meaningful data. They are beneficial to the user because all relevant data is presented on a single screen without the user having to search for exceptions by analysing different sources of information.
Chief Executive Officer, Ashley Regenass, explains: “BI deals with the introduction of new tools to empower the business user whereas analytics is progressing into providing appropriate actions based on the analysis of the data. Both need to coexist in the business to support insights and decision-making. It’s no use to have just a reporting engine that spits out facts. It’s about using the visualisations of charts, graphs, tables and discovering, interpreting and communicating information, insights and patterns of data.”
Create customised reporting
Different stakeholders require particular data representations to facilitate quick data interpretation. An accountant may need data to be presented in a table format, while a sales manager might prefer a graph. A BI system allows users to create reports in any form so that a manager can easily interpret the data and confidently make informed decisions. Without these numbers, all that employees will have to back them is their opinion. It adds more meaning when they have the evidence to prove their case. Bear in mind that employees do not have a restricted data view. They can see the bigger picture and drill through the data to look at the information in more detail.
Improved company-wide visibility
The Sage X3 system is equipped with fully customised dashboards that provide a graphic view of key performance indicators. These indicators are presented to the user company-wide, in real time, and alert them to actions that need their immediate attention. To run your business effectively, it’s critical to make timely operational decisions. Real-time alerts empower employees to respond to ever-changing business conditions.
For instance, a production manager receives an indication that stock is running low on the particular component of a product manufactured by the company. They can approve a purchase request on any mobile device to ensure that the manufacturing process is not affected. Stakeholders must be able to respond instantly whether they are in or out of the office. Users can easily gain access to the Sage X3 command centre on their phones, thanks to the system’s web-based architecture.