Does your organisation struggle with business intelligence?
The following is a list of outmoded and archaic processes that you might be familiar with:
- Using spreadsheets for analysing information, performing projections and modelling from a reoccurring data source; cost aggregation, lease administration, invoices, accounts payables, property valuation, and forecasting etc.
- Receiving recurring paper documents (rightly endangered); contracts, vendor payables, credit applications, management agreements, and tax assessments etc.
- Sending versioned documents between colleagues and departments via USB or email etc.
Well they shouldn’t IMHO and here’s why:
- Use of spreadsheets verbatim obscures in-depth analysis, data manipulation takes time, expertise and in worst cases requires the decoding of a patchwork of formulas. Oh, and be careful not to delete any cells for fear of creating a treasure map that only the original author (let’s just call him Jeff) can navigate!
- Paper documents are the worst because they haven’t even made it to a spreadsheet (so add data entry errors to the above list of not-so-nice roadblocks and pitfalls).
- Manual data handling, ugh! Hang on, which version is the right one? What’s the idea behind the version numbers and why are they are not consistent? and so forth. Also, Peter from accounts has been working from a different version all this time and now its decision time… own it or have a little chat with Peter!?
Ok so here’s the answer to common archaic dilemmas such as, what document are we working on? Why does that pirate Jeff make treasure maps? Did I just get Peter fired? And is he bringing me down with him? And so forth.
- Design a common data architecture that ingests and normalises data irrespective of type or source. Plug an industry reporting tool like Tableau or PowerBi into a database view and voila: No more excel treasure maps! Share and manipulate data without changing source files. Create sophisticated business intelligence such as, dynamic projections in a few clicks or spot outliers in key figures using a heat map pre-set. Etc. Etc.
- Digitise, digitise, digitise! Come on people, this isn’t 1999! If co-workers or suppliers state paper docs are the norm then ask them to check their calendar because the millennium bug hit and so did 20years of digitisation. We can totally get over paper and save some trees too! Say heads up to things like FTP or better yet APIs and other developments since the year 2000.
- Databases, asset register, the internet. They cost money to develop but are getting cheaper to run. Factor in the cost of working from outdated or in some cases, redundant data sources and new data systems for advanced business intelligence will pay for themselves, quickly.
So, in summary, we have briefly covered some basic data and tech solutions to common outmoded workplace objects and processes. To better understand the gamut of technological capability and how it can be applied to your workplace download the report below!