How do you turn your data into decisions? The volume of data in your business can be overwhelming, but this data alone doesn’t give you a competitive edge. It’s only when you can put your data to good use that you can identify insights into your customers, your markets and your own business performance.
To be able to make the best decisions, you need easy access to information about how much stock you have, how many orders you’re expecting and what price your customers will pay and when.
How can you use data reporting within your business?
Operations – how much do your different customers order and when? Do you have enough stock to cover the demand? Which are your more successful or more profitable lines? Your operations department needs access to this information in a clear, easy to understand format, that makes it simple to order stock, or check the availability of the right members of staff.
IT – all the data created by Operations will be looked after by the IT department. IT is also usually responsible for creating reports much of the rest of the business use for making decisions. Can your IT department create the right sort of reports for the different parts of your business?
Finance – once your data has been created by Operations and processed by IT, it’s often down to the Finance department to make decisions about the future of the business, or to discuss options with the other departments. Financial reports can seem complicated to the untrained eye. A profit and loss statement can help operations decide which customers are more important, but only if they can make sense of such a report. Does your reporting system allow an explanation of all the options, or just produce pages of numbers?
Finding the best way to report your data throughout your business is not necessarily a case of buying expensive software and sending your staff on training courses. Start by looking at the tools that are already known to your employees they will be able to use without further training. Look for tools that can be integrated with your existing systems rather than investing in brand new ones that stand alone.
Whatever reporting system you decide to use, probably the most important consideration is that it needs to be adaptable to suit all the different departments within your business, so that everyone has access to the data on which they base their decisions.
If you need help with creating the right type of reports for the different parts of your business, talk to Solution 7 about how we can help. Call us on 01865 784 650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org