Where is my profit coming from?
That’s THE most common question our clients ask.
They know they have more cash at the end of the month than at the start. Hopefully. But no clear view of which customers are profitable and which are not. Which products or services are adding to the bottom-line and which are hurting the business.
Once you know where your profit comes from you have the opportunity to:
- Target your marketing towards the kinds of customers you want
- Revive or end of life failing products
- Sack those customers who are costing more than they pay
- Understand trends in product/service sales to be able to offer new services that better meet customer needs
Data Analytics as a Service. Data analytics training to free you from the monthly Excel grind.
Our mission is to make you look great when you present at the next management meeting. With dashboards that answer real questions on the fly as people in the room think of them. No more delaying decisions until the next meeting.
"Data is the new currency."
Whoever finds the best way to mint this currency will develop huge business advantage.
Most companies use less than 5% of the data they gather. they turn it into KPI dashboards that are static and generate more questions than they answer. There is a better way. Data visualisation tools allow dashboards to be built that are dynamic. They can include filters and menus to allow more questions to be answered the minute they are asked. gone are the days of putting off those burning questions to the next meeting, by which time they are either forgotten or it is to late for effective actions to be taken. Data visualisation, when done well, puts answers into the hands of the people who need them, when and where they need them. Streamed to their laptops, tablets or mobile phones in a fully interactive format that can be queried on-the-go. Take a look at the data visualisation below. It is running in a browser. run your mouse over the charts and see the tooltips deliver added detail. Change the date filter and watch the dashboard view. Take it full screen for an expanded view. Then scroll down to the screen capture below. It delivers information but it is fixed, inflexible and more out of date with each day that passes.
Regardless of the size of your organisation, you gather a lot of data.
Within your first week of operation you had set up:
- An accounts package
- A web site
- That generates traffic logs
- and links to google analytics
- And probably feed data into a MySQL database
- Sales and Marketing start building spreadsheets of customer and supplier information
- A CRM package will join the mix at some point
- If you provide support, then they have a database or more spreadsheets
- If you ship stuff, that’s in a database too
Most of that potential business information is a one-way transaction. It is entered into the data store and only gets touched again if there is an issue or some follow-up action to be considered. Vast amounts of business information locked away in different departments in a range of data sources.
The only intelligence that surfaces is for those monthly management or account reviews. The sum of your total information gathered appears on an executive dashboard as a pie chart, a line chart, a bar chart and a table. That’s it, the sum total of your data analytics on which all your forward planning rests.
Data visualisation packages allow you to connect to whichever business information systems you are using, even Excel, and turn the data into charts and tables that allow you to see trends, outliers and anomalies that will help you make changes to the way you do business.
Not all business information tools are the same, even the name varies considerable. Some consider themselves as data visualisation tools, or systems. Others put themselves into the Business Intelligence space. Even Gartner has different categories of magic quadrant that it splits these tools between.
There is also a huge difference in price. Some data visualisation tools come as part of a larger ERP, or BI suite that has a 6-figure price tag. Others like Tableau have a starting price of $2000 for a single copy of their desktop tool. Some like Microsoft PowerBI have free options that can get you started on the road to producing business information, but may not be cheaper in the longer term.
Tableau, Qlik Sense or Looker have an upfront cost but, certainly in the case of Tableau, are quick to learn and use, at least to a degree. So the money saved on using the free tools drips away as people take longer to product data visualisation
The free tools have a place though. Our recommendation for rolling out self-service analytics across your organisation is:
Start with a single copy of your favourite premium data visualisation product. You figure out which one suits you best by taking their free trials and doing side-by-side comparisons. This single copy may grow to more copies in the future but see how the other part of your self-service business information strategy works first. The other part is to get at least one person in every department signed up for Microsoft PowerBI or one of the other free tools. Anyone who is spending a lot of time working with a spreadsheet to produce business insights needs to be coaxed over to the light. Them may need help and encouragement but make it happen. Keep an eye on them though because once they realise how much time they have been wasting on spreadsheet work, they may need counselling.