Business, trade, and commerce are rooted in the exchange of items, the barter of goods and services, and the recognition in value that one can provide the other. But compared to how much the business landscape has changed since the very beginning, anyone from even five decades ago would think of you as crazy if you claimed that the world would become more globalized than ever and nearly hundreds upon thousands of transactions occur every second.
Today, we stand at the cusp of yet another technological revolution spanning multiple industries, and with the global finance sector changing, it’s no surprise why prominent companies such as Walmart are already entering the Metaverse, and news of digital real estate purchases appear everywhere. However, at the heart of it all is data, and it’s about time more people understood its role in the grand scheme of things, especially in the league of integrated analytics.
It’s Not Just Consumer Data
On the surface level, it’s pretty easy for anyone to say that businesses, especially those in e-commerce, love data. But if you dig into that curiosity even further, the most common answers people provide are the likes of Facebook analytics understanding the user information and many other social media platforms, when, in fact, consumer data isn’t the only category to exist.
Sure, it’s not wrong.
However, solely focusing on consumer data and factors behind the purchase decisions paints an incomplete picture of how data and integrated analytics support a company’s core operations because sales performance isn’t the only determinant of success. In many cases, cutting back costs through computer-based information systems and highlighting areas of improvement through programmability in logistics are equally effective at improving quality and the bottom line.
So, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur aiming to become the next global sensation or leading business transformation coach or just simply want to understand the many moving parts, take note that data can come in many forms.
Identifying Opportunities in Supply Chain Management
Firstly, one of the best applications of integrated analytics is its help with identifying opportunities in supply chain management. Given the near-endless number of supply chain issues today, even a 2% increase in efficiency is more than worthwhile. How it works is through accurate “pull” data that can create effective schedules, inventory replenishment, computer-assisted ordering, and forecasting trends, to name a few. And in general, these opportunities either fall into the reduction of waste generated or increasing standardization of processes.
Reducing Likelihood of Waste Generated:
Waste is inevitable. No matter the industry, every business will struggle with deficiencies in allocating resources because internal control can’t prevent or correct every possible risk present. But, with the assistance of integrated analytics, businesses can more accurately identify and trace where these problems start and mitigate their impact. As a result, more time and money are saved in the long run.
Increasing Efficiency and Standardization:
Business operations tend to become dynamic. While making sense and managing the chaos is how competitive advantages are created, too much overload and lack of supervision can create more problems than it solves. However, integrated analytics can highlight what areas can be simplified or included in other operations, cutting back on time investment and increasing efficiency. Furthermore, standardization can even lead to the benefits of process automation, where little oversight is required.
Guaranteeing Information Security and Correctness
Apart from opportunity, integrated analytics also works best with information security, and with how sensitive and important some data stores can be, it is in the best interests of business owners to maintain their correctness and prevent tampering. Sadly, malware and hackers can be expertly deceptive to the untrained eye, not to mention third parties with ulterior motives and malicious intent. But with a bit of monitoring, integrated analytics can detect early possibilities of error and fraud and maintain the quality and appropriateness of information.
Detecting Possible Cases of Error and Fraud:
Errors and, in more serious cases, fraud are some of the internal control risks your business finances will face. And while adjustments at the end of the reporting period can help alleviate some of the issues, things don’t always go as smoothly. However, integrated analytics can prevent these from becoming worse by detecting suspicious transaction processing, stopping the act before it can lead to more unscrupulous events.
Maintaining Quality and Appropriateness:
Besides detective measures, integrated analytics is perfect for preserving information quality and appropriateness because you can program verification procedures and corrective activities into the accounting information system. And while in-house built software will take some time learning the control environment and machine-learning through the data, it’s a wise investment that will pay itself back tenfold. Plus, it ties back into the automation of business processes, freeing up more positions for specialization.
However, It’s Not the Same for Every Business Out There
Of course, while integrated analytics can offer numerous benefits for modern businesses, data isn’t utilized in the same way for every company in the universe. And while efficiency achieved with technology is the end goal, you can never go wrong with professional managers and employees that have received expert business coaching services. So don’t slack on your human resources as well!