Are You Afraid of Advanced Analytics?

In business, you have access to so much data that it can be scary. With loads of information coming at you, how do you know where to start? It’s easy to get buried under it all and spend the night feeling haunted by all the information.

That’s where advanced analytics comes in.

Advanced analytics—which includes data mining and analytics—affords you the ability to gather deeper, more strategic, and ultimately more actionable insights from your data. While traditional analytical tools show you where you’ve been, advanced analytics zeroes in on where you might go next, offering insight into what might happen based on several future opportunity options.

But not everyone is keen to jump on the advanced analytics bandwagon. That may seem preposterous to you. What’s not to like about being able to examine your data for deeper insight?

Face Your Fears

Still, a lot of CFOs maintain misconceptions about advanced analytics:

·         They’re expensive

·         Take a long time to deploy

·         They are complex and cumbersome

Maybe you’re in that camp too. Perhaps you’ve resisted implementing advanced analytics because you fear the same things. Well, if that’s you, allow us to take some of that fear away.

Myth #1: Advanced analytics are expensive
If you’re sitting on a pile of valuable data and not digging into it due to concerns over investing in advanced analytic software, you could be costing yourself more! Your data is your greatest goldmine for discovering answers to your future by appropriately processing your past.

Many enterprise resource planning (ERP) programs merge easily with external resources that are not only reliable, but also economical. The benefits will fast outweigh the cost once you are able to spend less time doing the grunt work and more time understanding the report results.

Myth #2: Advanced analytics take a long time to deploy
Yes, some software does take a long time to deploy. Rolling out your first ERP—or changing over to a new one—is a long process that can take months to move through . . . and that’s when it’s done properly.

Not so with advanced analytics! Many of these platforms can be implemented in a matter of hours, sometimes less, and start crunching your data almost immediately.

Myth #3: Advanced analytics are complex
Let’s be clear: Yes, advanced analytics can be complex. But guess what? They don’t have to be.

Advanced analytics are designed to use sophisticated formulas and calculations to put easy-to-decipher data in front of the end-user. That means that the end user’s advanced analytics experience will be easy to navigate.

Still Afraid?

Even after the myth-busting, if you still break into a cold sweat at the thought of advanced analytics, don’t worry. We’ve got a great way for you to dip your toe into it.

Start by collecting the data you need to analyze. This may have typically been a laborious process for your company. Data is housed within an ERP (or two!) and other relational databases that don’t all like talking to each other. Thus, assembling your data may have meant several data dumps and many hours manipulating it into the format you need. If the data updates at any point during this process—say you get a late invoice payment that still credits toward the month you’re working on—then you have to start the entire process all over again. Maybe that process has you running scared! If so, we’re here to help.

With our best-in-class reporting platforms, Spreadsheet Server and Atlas for Microsoft Dynamics, you can connect data from every ERP or other relational database into one automatic report that lives within the familiarity of Excel.

That’s right: Excel.

Both Spreadsheet Server and Atlas use dynamic links to pull real-time data from your ERP, link it to other data sets, and return the exact reports you need based on secure and easy-to-assemble parameters. Best of all, both platforms build on your existing Excel knowledge. No need to be a developer or call IT to create your reports. So collecting, organizing, and updating data for your analytic processes can be a fast, automatic, and worry-free experience.

Reports are easy to update with a single mouse click. View month by month, or quickly aggregate larger data sets by quarter or year. Return data for a single account, a range, or search using a wildcard. It’s all designed to give you quick and easy insight into your data so that you can spend more time finding the story behind it and forecast for the future.

No tricks, so if you’re in for a treat, come knock on our door! The porchlight is on.