Centralizing your business intelligence
A business intelligence system can help drive customer retention and uncover new sales opportunities while normalizing and centralizing reporting. Here are some things to consider when assessing business intelligence platforms.
Incorporating business intelligence across your organization
Different parts of the organization need a business intelligence system for different things.
Here’s a starter list:
Sales performance: sales analysis, syndicated data integration
Trade promotion management: trade spending, promotion analysis
Retail execution: merchandising
Supply chain management: orders, purchases, inventory, drop analysis
Finance: budget, profitability, deduction ageing, accounts receivable & payable, commissions
A good business intelligence system can operate across all of these and more on a centralized platform that provides a single ‘source of truth’ that can be used by everyone in the company.
When assessing business intelligence solutions and providers, ask yourself whether the solution offered has the flexibility to allow these different views and capabilities in a way that is still accessible to everyone. How well can it integrate multiple types of data from different sources, such as finance and inventory systems, or sources such as Salesforce? Is it data type agnostic?
Assessing platform capabilities
How well does the solution:
Enable better planning by providing trends?
Does it have trending features such as pivot views and rolling period columns to easily compare previous results to spot trends and anomalies? Can it provide several years of data at a time for quick analysis? Can it provide trends by customer by various time periods e.g., this week versus same time last year, or November versus the five previous months?
Identify emerging issues?
Does it include predictive analytics capabilities that identify trends-based issues before they become major challenges impacting top and bottom-line results? Does it have Management by Exception (MBE) features that allow capture of lost sales in real time and monitor metrics to identify deviations requiring immediate intervention?
Grow the customer base?
Does it have features that locate opportunities for account penetration?
Identify who isn’t buying?
Does it notify users on product sales drop-offs and items customers aren’t purchasing over certain periods of time, such as weekly? Can it identify by item and brand where distribution has been picked up and lost by customer?
Determine cross profitability?
Such as across customer-specific profitability, trade spending, broker commissions, trade spend analysis. All at various levels such as brand, item, territory?
Deploy the right granular data to the right people?
Can it slice out only the data certain departments are responsible for such as by region, territory, or customer? Can it look at data by business unit, territory, geography, outside sales reps, parent customer, individual outlet location? Or from category level down to brands, items, and SKUs? Or combine the two, for example can a territory manager in the central US look at specific customers?
Can it provide automated reporting for MBE and KPI dashboards? Does it have pre-built and defined connectors, metrics, and KPIs so that IT resources can be focused elsewhere rather than on custom report generation?
What good usability looks like
At a minimum, a business intelligence platform should be able to or have:
Flexible data loading time periods e.g., daily, weekly, monthly
Layer data year over year, versus budget for a period, or by plan and forecast for sales, cases, dollars
Numerous levels of multi-tier analysis
A charting mode, with interactive charting capability
One-click functionality for different views e.g., by sales rep or category, and for accessing trends such as month over month, week over week
Downloadable templates for sales budgets that can be loaded back in to track against, such as for field sales
Automated reports and dashboards, and dynamic KPI and customizable dashboard functionality
Various ways to print, export and share data and reports
How teams use it
TELUS G2 Analytics is most commonly employed for sales and promotion analysis, and for drop analysis for distributors and wholesalers.
Users can also do weekly updates and monthly close updates. Marketing departments are using it to look at product performance, whereas sales teams look at it by customer data and purchase frequency.
Companies can use TELUS G2 Analytics to help with business reviews, demand planning and finance, or to pay rate-based broker commissions. Sales teams can use it to review direct shipping and indirect distributor performance.
A good business intelligence platform provides streamlined access to data that can be cut in multiple ways from a single source of truth to provide actionable insights for better informed, more profitable planning, decisions and customer relationships.
TELUS G2 Analytics is a holistic, flexible, centralized, data-agnostic business intelligence platform built for the CPG and foodservice sectors. Request a demo today.