The proliferation of automation and digitization technologies over recent years has been a boon for all. Enterprises of all sizes and across all industries are replacing manual, paper-based processes with machine intelligence and robotic capabilities. These companies have achieved even more impressive benefits than many expected enabled by the adoption of managed accounting consulting.
The capabilities of cloud technologies have led directly to significant cost savings, more productive and efficient processes, and a staff that is engaged to use their talents rather than simply carry out administrative and transactional tasks. But it is essential to understand that this is just the low-hanging fruit in terms of the benefits that automation / digitization provide.
The true value of these tech-based processes is that they produce enormous amounts of data. Aspects of organizations and operations that were once loosely managed and barely understood can now be tracked and monitored in extreme detail.
Storing and analyzing data is a process broadly known as analytics or Business Intelligence, and it promises to be one of the most transformative capabilities to enhance human industry in a long time. Overstating the potential and benefits of analytics is almost impossible to do, and it will have a unique impact in every organization that embraces it. Here are some of the broadest benefits:
- Process Improvement – Every transaction or interaction can be performance-tracked using data. That creates opportunities to study complex process and quickly discover the defects. As a result, any attempt to improve efficiency or productivity can be sure to have an impact.
- Decision Making – Strategic planning based on assumptions or intuitions will never be effective. Analytics allows decision-makers to dive into facts, figures, and metrics so that planning is based on an objective and expansive understanding of reality. That kind of data-driven approach will be essential for preserving competitiveness.
- Customer Relationship Management – Analytics can have a direct impact on the bottom line by helping all companies improve relationships with customers and prospects. When the sales, marketing, distribution, and finance departments are all taking advantage of data instead of relying on outdated and unorganized approaches, they can more successfully serve customer’s needs and wants.
The benefits of analytics are nothing new to the largest global enterprises, but many smaller organizations have struggled to reap the same rewards. Their operations have the necessary automation to produce currents of valuable data, but they lack the necessary technology and skills to give all this data form and function. Costs are too high, and the complexity can be overwhelming.
Enter Analytics-as-a-Service (AaaS). According to Techopedia, "Analytics-as-a-Service refers to the provision of analytics software and operations through Web-delivered technologies. These types of solutions offer businesses an alternative to developing internal hardware setups just to perform business analytics." This can refer to technology platforms that can gather and store data from disparate sources, as well as provide metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
We also see an opportunity for companies to outsource or subscribe to the collection, analysis, and delivery of their data. Midsized companies are implementing cloud applications which generate a lot of data. Rather than simply implementing another cloud technology solution to aggregate and deliver that data, which might become obsolete as their needs and their business changes, we envision businesses subscribing to a service that manages and analyzes their data, advises them on what metrics to track, helps them understand the significance of those metrics, and helps them adjust as things change.
With all this data out there, it will take a new set of skills to manage, consume, and curate it all in a way that's actually meaningful. When you’re ready to learn more about what is possible, have a conversation with our managed accounting services experts at Baker Tilly.
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