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Analytics: Bringing Business Intelligence Closer To Financial Data

Underlying this trend, more and more financial departments are placing emphasis on the importance of embedded analytics; reporting built into existing systems, rather than stand-alone business intelligence (BI) applications. 4th December 2013 Recently, we’ve seen more and more of our customers using analytics to inform their everyday financial processes. By generating real-time reports about financial performance, they are able to gain greater knowledge of (and...

Underlying this trend, more and more financial departments are placing emphasis on the importance of embedded analytics; reporting built into existing systems, rather than stand-alone business intelligence (BI) applications.

4th December 2013

Recently, we’ve seen more and more of our customers using analytics to inform their everyday financial processes. By generating real-time reports about financial performance, they are able to gain greater knowledge of (and control over) spending and cashflow as well as the efficiency of their financial processes.

Underlying this trend, more and more financial departments are placing emphasis on the importance of embedded analytics; reporting built into existing systems, rather than stand-alone business intelligence (BI) applications.

Those we’ve spoken to cite a number of reasons for choosing embedded tools, but we’ve outlined below the four that came up in our discussions most frequently.

Agility – The analytics requirements of accounts payable (AP) departments are constantly changing. For instance, following the roll-out of a new procurement system, AP is likely to have a number of new metrics to integrate into its existing analysis reports. Well-designed embedded analytics and proper self-service tools make it easy to modify and extend reports when a situation like this arises. They also allow AP to run ad-hoc queries, when required, to find the cause of bottlenecks.

Usability – Decisions by the AP department must be supported by reference to solid data. As a result, putting together reports can become a complex process if users have to jump about between different systems in order to collect the data they need. Embedded analytics simplifies this process through dynamic reports, which enable users to access activity screens and drill down into data without switching between different operating and reporting systems. This results in a much friendlier user experience than an isolated BI application.

Cost – If new processes are to be successfully adopted, companies must empower all end users – not just a handful of ‘super users’ such as directors and highly trained analysts. Handily, embedded analytics solutions can be easily implemented throughout an organisation without a high cost per deployed client. Embedded tools generally come with standard dashboards that are updated in version upgrades, and thus don’t require manual refreshing. Additionally, self-service capabilities make it cost effective to extend and modify access.

Best practice dashboards and peer benchmarking – In today’s world of networks and shared interest groups, the ability to compare performance with other companies is a key means by which companies can gain ideas to improve their own performance. Modern embedded analytics solutions enable this through best practice dashboards, as well as an underlying database design that makes data comparable between companies using it.

One of the most important benefits of embedded analytics, however, is that it puts control of financial processes firmly in the hands of the AP department. Rather than routing financial data through an external BI application, AP can conduct real-time analysis and make highly informed financial decisions as a result.

Source: Basware

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