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    03 / 26 / 2018

    Could Analytics Help You Get in Front of Your Product’s Decline?

    Using Analytics to Light the PathSome people call this an age of innovation. Others call it an age of disruption. No matter what your perspective is, deep change is the constant.

    A recent survey of more than 800 UK businesses revealed that 2/3 believe innovation is crucial for survival. That makes sense at a time when small startups are unsettling entire industries and chipping into the market share of companies generations-old.

    The same survey also revealed that only 1/3 of the responding companies believe they are innovating effectively enough to drive revenue and growth. Companies that are not actively expanding and enhancing their lineup of products and services cannot keep customers engaged. And in a world of competitive upstarts, that means a lost advantage.

    Successful innovation is the obvious solution. Unfortunately, that is also one of the most elusive objectives in business. Thanks to new technologies, however, meaningful improvements could be easier to find than you might think.

    Using Analytics to Light the Path

    It's a common misconception that analytics is just an expanded version of a formula-heavy Excel spreadsheet. The expanded part is true, but to a scale that is broader and deeper than any spreadsheet could accommodate. More importantly, analytics and business intelligence tools can now focus on previously inaccessible data and reveal previously invisible insights.

    That is a crucial distinction, particularly for companies trying to extend a product life-cycle for as long as possible. When the goal is to make a product as appealing and profitable as possible even after lower-cost alternatives flood the market, it's not possible to just crunch some numbers. Only the most sophisticated tools can dive deeply enough into disparate data to uncover the ongoing value of a product.

    This new generation of solutions, unlike previous data tools, can work with unstructured data. That is data that has not been strictly defined and rigidly organized. It's data that hides unknown insights. But with tools that are smart enough to study and scour unstructured data, these insights are becoming less elusive.

    Understanding Analytics in Action

    Consider a company that makes midmarket electronics. Sales are declining as consumers seek out lower-cost or higher-quality alternatives. The company is desperate to make improvements, but no specific strategy is settled on.

    Using an analytics tool, the company can digest huge amounts of unstructured data in the form of customer reviews located across the internet, something known as social or customer sentiment data. Instead of assuming what consumers do and do not like about the electronics, the company studies the problem objectively on a major scale.

    Analytics leads to insights that empower the company to quickly make cost-effective changes. And since they are based directly on customer feedback, they immediately resolve many revenue roadblocks. Sales surge, the brand is rejuvenated, and the future is filled with opportunity...all thanks to analytics.

    These aren't just solutions of the future. These are capabilities that are becoming increasingly accessible to midmarket businesses. Providers like Adaptive Insights can pull data together from across an organization. Their Adaptive Integration framework provides always-connected integration with your relevant business systems. There are already multiple providers of social sentiment data that can be pulled in to complete the picture. To learn more, contact AcctTwo.

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    Baker Tilly curates, integrates, and optimizes the right technology stack for your organization. We layer in our own proprietary “last mile” solutions. And we offer these technologies either via a Software-as-a-Service delivery model, where your own Finance function manages the day-to-day use of the technology, or via a Finance-as-a-Service delivery model where we run your accounting operations and provide the outcomes you need. Here are some additional resources that may help you find solutions for your challenges. Or schedule a discussion to go over your needs and goals now.

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