Doesn’t every CEO / COO / CFO / CTO want this? Isn’t it a vital part of their daily activity? It probably is in most organisations but the more important questions are:
- Are they able to gather (all) the information from all the possible data sources?
- How useful is the information upon which they are basing their business decisions?
- Is the process of extracting and analysing the data quick, accurate and efficient?
Analysing the growing amount of data streaming through organisations can become a major headache if any of these areas are not properly addressed. Forward thinking organisations know that they can’t do this to any suitable effectiveness on their own, which is why many small and medium organisations (SMEs) turn to SAP Business One for best practice business analytics (SMEs make up 79% of SAP customer base).
Whilst often mistaken for a ‘big company solution’ SAP Business One’s analytics which is powered by the in-memory application – SAP HANA – is a real-time analytics platform with 3600x faster reporting capabilities which slices through the mass of enterprise data that has built up over time.
SAP HANA (High Performance Analytic Appliance) is a data warehouse appliance developed for the real time processing of large volumes of transactional and operational data. HANA extracts a company’s data from within the system’s RAM instead of accessing the SQL database. This provides much quicker results and ensures the data provided is the most up to date it can be.
Whilst analytics used to be a luxury afforded only by larger companies prior to in-memory computing; SAP HANA is revolutionising the way SMEs are able to access and view their data – it is essentially combining Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Intelligence (BI) onto one platform. Companies who were unable to access such sophisticated tools had to rely solely on the reporting capabilities of their (often limited) ERP reporting functions. Now, there really is no reason why SMEs cannot access such advanced tools!
Are analytics really that important when I am still trying to grow my business?
Absolutely! In fact, by using a robust, tried-and-tested analytics platform, your business will be poised for greater success and growth, in a shorter space of time. Let’s review some of the reasons why:
Big Data. Big Problem?We are constantly hearing how much more data companies are processing in today’s business world. Instead of playing catch up when it’s too late, bringing together all data sources in an efficient and streamlined way is one of the best ways to enable growth, today. [Big Data for Enterprises could be described as Enterprise Transaction Data + Enterprise Planning & Budget Data, Social Media Data + Industry Benchmark Data etc. – see infographic below]]
Myriad data sources.Your company is probably processing data from more sources than ever before (think about social media, global offices, mobile data etc). Before you know it, your company is working in silos and leaking opportunities across the board.
Compliance.Like it or not, you can’t escape compliance requirements. Whether it’s corporate tax, risk management, process tracking or legal components, your company should not be spending vast resources on such areas when it can be easily automated in a much more reliable way.
Bold decision making.Wouldn’t you like to be able to make informed decisions, immediately, safe in the knowledge that you have made the right choice for your company’s future? Having access to the right data, at the right time helps you to transform information into a competitive advantage, increase profits and forecast trends.
Reliable reports.Reports are outdated as soon as they are printed. But in companies without effective analytical tools, they are often outdated before they are even extracted – because the base data is not up-to-the-minute accurate. Why waste time using such reports and working blind?
What exactly will greater insight provide me with?
It’s all very well enthusing about the benefits of an analytics platform such as SAP HANA, but what will it actually enable a company to do, especially a small or medium sized organisation?
Business Intelligence.Gain a much deeper understanding of your business from the bottom up, across all key functions. Gain access to the correct data, at the correct time, in the correct way.
Manage change & risk.Anticipate and adapt to change quickly because you have all the facts in front of you. Respond quicker and more accurately in crisis management / exceptions. Gain the competitive advantage of being able to adapt and respond quickly.
Collaboration.Drive sustainable growth across your organisation by executing plans, strategic collaboration and accurate decision making.
Growth.Uncover new opportunities as soon as they happen and respond accordingly. By using past analysis, your company will also be able to accurately anticipate future market outcomes and mitigate its risk.
Adaptability.Identify, develop and implement new business processes based on the accurate data insight you are now receiving.
Better, decisions – faster.Access all of your data, all of the time. Enables ‘what if’ analytics to review past performance and create future strategies with the right knowledge.
SAP ROI.Leverage the existing transactional and operational data stored in SAP Business One (if you are currently using it).
Empower.Enable all decision makers (from the warehouse manager to the CFO) to drive the business forward by being able to access the right data according to their role requirements.
Mobile.Stay informed when on the move too, with analytics powered by HANA available on your company’s mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android etc).
Performance Management.Encourage greater accountability by providing your team with visibility into their key performance indicators (KPI) and track their progress.
Reporting. Your team will be able to:
-> Develop real-time standard and ad-hoc reports alone (leaving your IT department to do what they should be doing!)
-> Turn precise, actionable insights into opportunities and profits
-> Capture near-instant, results-driven data across every part of your operation
-> React to market conditions with enhanced agility, control, and confidence
Here’s a great infographic on the importance of a BI and analytics strategy:SAP]
As most companies seek their ‘single version of the truth’ Analytics Powered by SAP HANA provides access to the vast amount of data you are processing and delivers it in a way which can greatly enhance your business practices. Imagine being able to rapidly evaluate a business process (e.g. order fulfilment times) within seconds and then improving that process to minimise delivery times and make your customers even happier! This is just one of the ways in which a company might benefit from greater insight into their day-to-day operations.
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.