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Five steps to improving business insight

Written by FHL

22 | 06 | 21

4 minute read

Business leaders and key stakeholders require centralised and accurate data in order to gain a clear view of operations and assess performance at any given time. This real-time visibility allows decision-makers to monitor the developments of different departments and elements of activity, as well as identifying trends, challenges and opportunities to make informed judgements earlier than they could before. As we begin to see a new normal of people working from home and with a significant proportion of workforces still operating remotely, this deeper insight is proving crucial to a business’ smooth running. Here are five ways you can improve your insight and decision-making.

 

1) Set clear KPIs

Set ambitious, but realistic, KPIs for the different departments across your business. Not only does it provide teams with clarity on their goals, but by setting clear, data-driven, indicators for success, you can establish at a glance whether you’re on track to meet your objectives. This can also help you quickly identify potential problems and address them as soon as possible. However, it’s important to review these KPIs with teams at regular intervals so they can be adapted if required.

 

2) Customer insight

Analysing and understanding the ‘health’ of your client or customer base is just as important as getting a measure of the inner workings and performance of your business. There are a number of ways you can do this and different methods suit different types of businesses. While a post-sale feedback questionnaire or satisfaction rating might work well for a product-focused business, for those providing a service, it might be more effective for account managers to touch base with their key clients at intervals to review the account and gain honest feedback. Customer responses should be logged centrally so they’re accessible to relevant stakeholders within the organisation. While verbal, qualitative feedback is useful for detail, it may still be beneficial to quantify this in some way. For example, into a 1-10 satisfaction score, so you can quickly log and easily identify the relationships that need addressing.

 

3) Regular catch ups with teams and individuals

Take the time to check in on teams or individuals across the organisation or ensure this is part of line management and HR processes. This will allow your business to get an understanding of employee wellbeing and morale, which is especially important if your workforce is working remotely or adopting some form of remote-office hybrid. Not only does this approach help you identify any issues that fall outside of the work remit, but it can help with employee retention, productivity and encourage the wider sharing of new ideas and best working practices.

 

4) Capitalise on business intelligence

Business intelligence tools can offer deeper insight into your business and help you make more timely, data-driven decisions. In addition to making decisions at present time with internal and operational analytics, you can also input external influencing data like customer demographics or weather forecasts. This will help you identify trends, possible future challenges and opportunities more quickly. Some ERP platforms like Oracle NetSuite cloud ERP, have business intelligence built in, providing invaluable real-time insights.

 

5) Taking ERP systems to the cloud

Moving to a cloud-based ERP system allows access to real-time information from anywhere, using nothing more than a device with an internet connection. This allows organisations to adapt quickly and easily to large-scale remote working. A ‘single version of the truth’, delivered through the cloud, enables business-wide collaboration for continuity of operations, while offering management and key stakeholders the crucial oversight they need in real-time. Cloud-based ERPs like NetSuite also addresses the issue of no longer having to be office-based or constrained by restrictions on movement, as you can access this information anywhere, anytime.

 

To learn more about how you can improve your business insight, or to enquire further about a cloud ERP system, get in touch.

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