With the ever increasing compute power and improved business management software, companies have more access to data than ever. Successful companies turn data into insights and insights into action.
As we have seen the proliferation of analytics and more powerful reporting tools, we have also seen three key trends that will help a company adopt big data.
- Clean and Messy Data – The simpler the process and the greater consistency in recording transactions the cleaner your data will be. The reality is often that our processes are getting more and more complex to meet the ever increasing demands of our customers. Start with a focus on the data which is well understood and recorded consistently. Cash, customer balances, and other balance sheet items are typically very clean, so metrics based upon them are typically well accepted. Sales and related revenue metrics are also often undisputed where allocations and metrics based upon standards and variances are more subject to scrutiny.
- One Version of Truth – When you have a lot of data, it can be interpreted in many ways. This can create competing versions of the truth which leads to distrust in the numbers. Your leadership team should start with a set of key performance indicators which are going to be widely accepted and trusted. Only select measures which you will actually use for decision making and not just headlines. Keeping the number small also keeps the analysis simple.
- Use Visualization – They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture can also show the trend, the anomaly and the truth.
Simple visualizations such as green for good, red for bad or graphs with trendiness or baselines tell the story before you have to spend time analyzing the underlying data.
Big data can produce big results, but we recommend starting small and keeping it simple. Start with collecting clean data, focusing on the few important metrics and visualizing it for ease of use.
For more information on analytics powered by SAP Business One on HANA, contact I-BN today at 678-627-0646