Are you effectively using your own data and information to improve your business performance?
Do you fully understand your employer costs and employee demographics?
Are you monitoring key trends and analytics?
Data is constantly being collected and held by companies but, in the majority of cases, this asset is hugely underutilised and remains an untapped source of improving the business. Often, data is held across multiple systems and is only accessible by a few individuals, limiting the scope of understanding.
Due to the availability and access to technology involved in data manipulation and analytics, the barriers to entry in this sector have been greatly reduced. There are a number of data analytics tools now on the market which allow you to make use of your data. These operate as a layer on top of your existing systems, requiring no investment in additional software systems.
These tools allow you to create visualisations of data rather than just reviewing tables of values, enabling a quick and simple understanding of the key facts. This can reduce the time spent sourcing information and presenting it in a meaningful style for the users.
Not only does this provide an instant view of important data, it gives you the ability to interrogate and drill down into data to provide you with an insight into the analytical results.
Furthermore, workflows and decision making processes can be designed to ensure real business actions take place as a result of specific movements or defined triggers.
New compliance requirements introduced, such as Gender Pay Gap reporting, require businesses to not only prepare and report figures but also to make sense of the underlying data, in order to tackle any issues. These legislative requirements look for more than just the figures, with an explanatory report to be provided as a backdrop to these numbers. Without being able to interrogate the data, it can be difficult to fully understand what is being reported.
In addition to the legislative uses, these data analytics can provide huge benefits to organisations by providing real time, summarised data visualisations of management information that decision makers can use on a regular basis. This can display a combination of financial and non-financial data to provide relevant information to the relevant individuals.
By working alongside our clients, sharing ideas and initiatives, we have established a unique approach to implementing and maintaining powerful data analytics and dashboards. Our clients are benefitting by working in partnership through the design and build of dashboards, assisting business decision making processes using analytics and visual reports whilst supporting them to get to the stage where they can drill down and use their own data.
Jonathan Leiper is a Senior Manager at Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP, Chartered Accountants + Business Advisors