How to turn data into insights
Business Intelligence tools can present a goldmine of data ready to be analysed for actionable insights on changing behaviour, resulting in insight-driven decisions for your business.
In this second instalment of our insight series, we look to understand how business intelligence dashboards can help build data-driven businesses, utilising real-time information and establishing growth opportunities. These dashboards can provide a multi-dimensional view of your business, bringing together management information that would usually be fragmented.
How data turns into insights
What is the current process for managing data within your practice management and client database? For many, this includes intensive data input that is stored on Excel spreadsheets and requires a weekly manual refresh. This approach can result in very little time to analyse the data.
Without a business intelligence tool that provides visualisation of your data and insights that can be shared across your organisation, it is easy to potentially overlook valuable behaviours and trends. Business intelligence tools can connect to hundreds of data sources, bringing data to life with real-time dashboards and reports.
What should I track?
First, decide what are the most important areas to track for your business. Profitability, cash flow, break-even point, WIP, debt and billable time are just a few that will get you started. What data do you have available and what aspect of your practice do you need to see to get the full picture?
As a start, here are some goals you could consider:
- Concentrate on profitable business areas
- Ensure adequate cash reserves
- Clearly understand your market, customers and their habits
- Manage chargeable and non-chargeable timesheets
- Forecast cash flow
- Reduce over-dependence on a single customer
- Control and optimise growth
- Improve practice management
Business intelligence tools can raise awareness of where time and resources are being spent and can offer management insights on improving efficiencies. The ability to track all of these goals in a single dashboard can transform your business.
Facilitate a data-driven culture for data-driven conversations
Data, metrics, KPIs and information are just that, without the value add and experience of your practice. Data storytelling and financial advice is key. Visually arranging these figures to inform business and growth-nurturing conversations with your clients is where you can add significant value.
Visual reports foster data literacy that enables better conversations with your clients and helps them to truly understand the data and participate in analytical discussions, from the moment of discovery to the resulting business decisions.
How do you pull this data into a report today?
Consider the challenges you face around business intelligence today. Who currently provides reporting on these metrics and how long does it take you to run a report? What would you like to report on, but you can’t? Can you detect early warnings, pick up on trends in your data?
In the third instalment of this blog series, we look to answer those questions.