Six software features that add value to your analytics capabilities

Assuming your business already uses an integrated software system, you will also need reporting or business intelligence tools that can extract, clean, and transform the data into a format that’s meaningful for users. New tools and technologies are emerging to make information come alive, including data visualization, process simulation, and predictive techniques. By taking advantage of these innovations, executives can quickly understand business details that would otherwise be hidden or indecipherable.

So, what sort of features should you be looking for within these innovations? Here are six to start off with:

1. Ad-hoc custom reporting

Empowers your personnel to ask their own questions of company data, without burdening IT.

2. Cross-project analytics

Provides details on “job demographics”—such as type and stakeholder across all your projects so you can pinpoint what type of work you should focus on.

3. Spreadsheet analysis

Enables you to import/ export data to Microsoft Excel for configuring data and creating specialized and graphical reports.

4. Drill down

Takes the user from a general or high-level view of the data to a more specific one to provide greater insight.

5. Automatic report scheduling

Allows essential information to be distributed to the right people on a recurring schedule in order to turn data analysis into action.

6. Dashboards

Provides snapshot view of key performance indicators that indicate the health of your business.

Analyzing your business performance requires you to have high-quality data related to whatever process you are seeking to improve. Chances are your business does not lack data. However, it may suffer from a lack of integration, which prevents the information from different departments and functions from being used together. As a solution, it is increasingly important for businesses of all sizes to use integrated accounting and operations software.

Typically, the biggest obstacle to adopting analytics is related to business culture, not technology. By focusing your analytics on the biggest and highest value opportunities, you can overcome many company cultural challenges and objections while refining your data and, ultimately, achieving your goals.

This guide explores why analyzing your business is important, common obstacles to adopting analytics, and the related technologies organizations should look to implement. In addition, you will see tips and best practices you can apply right away to make incremental improvements in the way you shape your business strategy.