Employees are busy and your customers are buying.
Balance sheets, income statements, and cash flows are all in good shape. You can rest easy knowing that you are making the most effective use of your time, money, and resources, right?
Knowing where to allocate resources on a daily basis and having access to key metrics, aside from standard financial statements, can mean the difference between thriving in a tight margin environment and being left behind. Business owners and managers sit on a mountain of information as valuable as their bank account balances. Being able to look at that data is one way to analyze it, and is better than nothing, but having the systems in place capable of linking business objects together in a dynamic environment is ideal.
Most businesses could probably name their top 10 customers and can probably, with a little work, drill down and run a profit-loss analysis on those customers.
But do they know how many times employees are interacting with those top 10 customers through each sales cycle? Is there a correlation between the quantity of interactions and sales?
If there is, and all other things are equal, analytics can benchmark interaction requirements with customers and may help in driving the growth of sales. Further deployment of business intelligence reporting allows the business to test that hypothesis against ongoing data.
Having the data is one thing, but being able to link that data together in innovative and useful ways are where successful small businesses are headed.
Solid financial statements set your mind at ease based on where you’ve been. But analytics and business intelligence not only tell you where you’ve been, but also provide you with the tools needed to map out the future.
— Ben Lilly