Are your reports telling you the truth

If data is the lifeblood of any business then reports are the brain

Are your reports telling you the truth

If data is the lifeblood of any business then reports are the brain

Meet the author

Ben Lover

Associate Director

If data is the lifeblood of any business then reports are the brain. Reports are critical for business success.

They allow you to see how your business is currently performing and to make preparations for the future, by testing various scenarios and highlighting changing customers and market behaviours.

But have you ever stopped to ask yourself how accurate your reports actually are? You may have noticed that reality doesn’t always reflect what is shown on your dashboard. Rather than question too deeply you dismiss this as a quirk of statistics, or a situation that just has to be lived with and adapted to. What happens though if you are basing vital business decisions on reports that don’t give you the complete picture? You risk not maximising the opportunity or taking the business in completely the wrong direction altogether.

Talking to our clients, we hear a common complaint that their CRM/ERP/MRP – or whatever acronym they give to their data system – simply isn’t capable of giving them the type of information they need. In most situations this is a case of shooting the messenger. It isn’t the system that’s at fault but the data. If data is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date, duplicated or poorly structured, getting sensible insights from it becomes impossible.

To help our clients get the answers they need we review their end to end processes. This covers everything from how data is initially collected, through how it is stored and maintained, to how it is accessed and manipulated for reporting purposes. Our review looks at three key areas:

  • Systems: What hardware/software is used and how?
  • Processes: What steps you need to take to complete key actions, e.g. inputting data, recording a sale or producing an invoice?
  • People: Do the people who use these systems and processes know and understand why they do things the way they do? Are they doing it correctly or is human error adding to the problems?

The result is an overview of the issues and their root causes, along with a roadmap and business case for activities to resolve them. We believe that by taking this complete view of an organisation we can create and implement solutions that provide real value and long lasting benefits. Organised data allows meaningful insights to be drawn at all levels, from local and regional to global. With this level of understanding, businesses are able to respond rapidly to changes in customer demand and build a market leading position.

You might also like