Does your company use analytics to weigh up the options before making decisions? Or are you still basing important choices on instinct? With data analysis tools you could get the insights and predictions that help you to make smarter decisions. And that could provide real benefits for your business…

I was at a conference recently, giving a speech on data analytics solutions and the benefits of the cloud. It was a really interesting day, with lots of great talks, and everybody seemed really engaged. Whilst having a coffee in the lounge afterwards, I was approached by an IT Director from a small retail firm. He’d listened to my talk, and asked if I could give him some advice on how analytics could help his company work better.

Intrigued, I asked what his current problems were, and why he thought analytics might be the answer. He told me how frustrated he was that many of the decisions within the business were made on gut instinct, rather than any real analysis or future planning. He knew things could be working better.

It seemed to me that he already understood the power of analytics, and how it could improve so many areas of his business. But he didn’t know how to implement the right solutions and, more importantly, how to convince his managing director of the value to the business.

I gave him some advice, and when I got home that evening I started thinking about how others might be confused about the benefits of analytics. So, I came up with four reasons how data analytics can help any business makes faster, smarter decisions.

1. Ensure you have clean data

Your company needs to know that any decisions it makes are based on the most accurate, up-to-date information. So you need to guarantee your data is clean and free of errors. Otherwise, forecasts could be wrong, and your company could be making bad decisions that actually harm its business.

By analyzing and cleansing your company’s data with business analytics tools, you can build more trust in it. You can guarantee a single version of the truth, and know that everything is accurate and up-to-date. Which means your organization can make more confident decisions that help take it to the next level.

2. Streamline your data

Most growing businesses have increasing volumes of data – from customer information to sales data, shipping, production, and much more. But if you’re not using it, you could be missing opportunities. And if it’s spread across disparate systems and spreadsheets, it can be hard to search through and make any meaningful conclusions.

By employing analysis tools that sift through all that information, you can create useful data models that give you a far clearer picture of how your organization is operating. You can improve the accuracy of forecasting and budgeting. And you can see any causes of underperformance and take steps to remedy them.

3. See your data on the move

As more of us work remotely or away from the office, and with global markets operating 24 hours a day, critical decisions often need to be made when access to the company server or IT department is not available. By investing in mobile solutions that enable your colleagues to access and analyze data on the move, they can get key insights when and where they need them. So they can make informed decisions in real time – rather than waiting until they’re back in the office, or using the resources of the IT team to collate and send reports.

4. Enable people to visualize data

By providing self-service visualization tools, you can enable people to analyze company data on their own. The tools are easy to use and provide stunning, insightful visualizations quickly and easily. So everyone can gain access to data and analyze it themselves. It can also save your IT department time and resources, as people aren’t relying on them to provide detailed insights.

With predictive analysis, your company can also take decision-making to a new level. You don’t simply base your future strategies on how things have performed in the past. Instead you can use your data to create a picture of how investments and plans are likely to perform before committing to them.

By analyzing data with affordable analytics tools, like SAP Edge solutions, your organization can get more from data. You can monitor critical business functions, share visualizations, and get real-time overviews of how you’re performing. So everyone can see the business in more detail and make faster, smarter decisions that help your company achieve its ambitions.

This morning I received an email from that IT Director, thanking me for my advice, and telling me how he’d introduced a few SAP Edge solutions into his IT – and he was already seeing results throughout the business after just a few weeks. I’ve arranged to meet him for another coffee at the next conference we’re both at, and I look forward to hearing how much better is company is doing.

Find out more about SAP Edge solutions from iStrat Solutions at

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