Here at Acuity we pay close attention to the trends in our customer base. We look closely at the nature of our support calls and the content of dialogue with both existing and prospective customers. Over the last few months reporting and analysis have been highly prominent – a trend we believe reflects the huge extent to which technology is part of our everyday lives and the fact that so many of our daily activities are data-driven.
Edward de Bono – who coined the term ‘lateral thinking’ – said that “An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore”. Based on our interactions with customers and prospects this is indeed a key skill that managers need in fast-moving 21st century businesses.
Recent guidelines from CIMA (The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) state the following:
“In order to make the right decisions, directors must base them on good-quality, timely information on how their businesses are performing. The quality of performance reporting to boards is therefore one of the key factors affecting companies’ competitiveness. Having sound information on which to act is key to this process. Any attempt to formulate business strategy or set tactical plans without it is bound to misfire. This will ultimately result in poor decision-making”.
Thus, in the age of Big Data, the importance of accurate information to inform business decisions is greater than ever – and along with it comes the need for the right tools to manage and analyse it.
If this is an area you wish to improve, you will be interested to hear that we have a range of scalable options well-placed to deliver real value from Sage solutions across the entire range – from SMBs to mid-sized enterprises. A study by the Aberdeen Group (Commissioned by Sage) found the following key points that reinforce the importance of this area:
- 47% of mid-sized enterprises agree that too many decisions are based on inaccurate or incomplete data.
- 90% of business decision makers at mid-sized companies don’t always have information available when they need it; this results in late decisions based on inaccurate data.
Consequently, a common problem for mid-sized enterprises is their inability to transform the big amount of data they get from their business management solutions into deliverable, ready-to-use insights which can impact their business and profitability. Organizations without a Business Intelligence or business analysis solution in place might find themselves drowning in data. Business Intelligence is the forge that helps transform your management system´s transactional data into meaningful information, and distribute it to the business users that need insight to direct their actions.
Critically, these solutions are no longer restricted to larger organisations, but are well within the reach of all businesses.
- For Sage 200, the Business Intelligence module (Delivered as an integral part of the on premise solution) is the complete business analysis tool that comes as standard with Sage 200 Extra. It enables you to mine your data across every aspect of your business. You can identify customer and product trends and measure performance against difference benchmarks.
- For Sage 300, the Sage Intelligence Reporting module is a flexible, Excel-based, business intelligence reporting solution that integrates with Sage 300, a global business management tool. It extracts data from Sage 300 and delivers it in a Microsoft Excel format that is easy to understand and manipulate, putting you in control of the design of your reports.
- Sage X3 Intelligence is the answer to spreadsheet chaos. You will get the latest information when you want it, presented in the way that makes sense to your business. And, best of all, you get it in Microsoft Excel which means you can control, edit, and analyse and send it far and wide in a program you already know how to use.
In the words of the CIMA report, an executive board should “Ensure that it is receiving all the key information to enable it to probe and question; focus on critical success areas and key performance indicators; and identify appropriate management actions where there are positive or negative variances from projected performance”. These tools can deliver this to your business right now and what’s more, in many cases they are included within the core license and merely require configuration and training to deliver immediate value.
Peter Drucker stated the common sense observation that "Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level." The tools to enhance that skill are better than ever.
If you would like to discuss Business Intelligence (BI) or find out any information on our Sage products, please fill out the form below:
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