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Becoming a Data Efficient Company

As a Financial Director you may have heard of the amazing analysing capabilities of PowerBI, Microsoft’s latest tool which comes standard with Microsoft 365. But how do you actually extract tangible commercial value from it?

The long shadow of Excel

ERP and operational systems rarely satisfy 100% of a business managers’ reporting requirements. To compensate they use tools like Excel as a back-up to record and measure data. We call these tools “shadow systems.” Your business is most likely wasting time and money by maintaining shadow systems.

Within the finance department specifically, a Excel based shadow system requires people to constantly gather data from different sources, reconcile it, report on it and then attend to the inevitable deluge of questions that come from managers. It’s an evil cycle which costs the Finance Department dearly in the form of inefficient use of skilled managers. In some estimates the cost of shadow systems can be up to 30% of payroll purely in unproductive use of people.

Increasing revenue per head

In Business Administration, such as Finance, any system that is able to reduce the inefficiencies associated with shadow systems presents a tangible ROI.

Modern technology allows companies to connect all the data from various departments and regions into a central data warehouse – or data lake – which is then cleaned and standardised on a real time basis. This then connects directly with a BI platform to provide automated reporting using tools such as Power BI and PowerPivot.

Suddenly the need for a shadow system is eliminated and results in significant increases in revenue per head of the relevant business admin function.

An example of tangible ROI

For example, the a typical BI implementation project cost should fall within 20 – 25% of your annual relevant payroll expense. So if your relevant payroll is 10 people at 35K USD per year, the annual improvement project budget should be no more than 84K USD.

As your company grows, its revenue to employee ratio will increase because:

  1. Current employees become more efficient because they are less preoccupied maintaining the shadow system.

  2. The constant need to hire more people is reduced because of the increased efficiency of existing staff.

The more complex your company is, like multi-ERP, multi-entity, multi-currency, and other requirements, the higher your ROI will be.

Continuous operational improvement

Over and above the tangible savings that a BI project can deliver, the greater benefit often lies with the ability to perform real time Business Process Monitoring and Improvement on a transactional level available instantly on PC, Mobile and Tablet.

BI platforms such as PowerBI allows you to flag crucial operational KPIs across the business  such as turnaround times of deliveries or orders, ordering and supply chain efficiencies, count and values of credit notes. By harnessing your data, you are empowered to track, manage and improve all critical business processes over time. This will in turn have a significant impact on the productivity of the company.

How Canvas works

Canvas is a tailored version of PowerBI to cater for the needs of finance departments in mid to large companies. It paves the way to an integrated, real-time line of sight into the profitability of your company from the executive level down to the ground floor.

Canvas reduces the costs of business administration whilst empowering business managers with easy to use tools to analyse and advise on data processes. Typically the roll-out of Canvas starts with the creation of a single data warehouse that improves the integrity of your enterprise data. We then implement our custom dashboards to provide the real time business intelligence.

In short, Canvas eliminates the scattered silos of data and reports that most companies battle against.

With Canvas Intelligence you can get peace of mind knowing your staff will be working from and talking about the same apple, reducing confusion and driving your company forward. Request your free proof of concept today!

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