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PKF Australia

Accountants and Business Advisers

Time for all businesses to use data analytics

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Vaughn Campbell

Director

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Time for all businesses to use data analytics

Big businesses have been using data analytics for years to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of their operations. Data analytics enables businesses to more deeply understand what drives all aspects of their business, identify new opportunities for growth, understand and influence customer behaviours and deliver cost-savings through efficiency and optimisation. For example, the advent of “loyalty cards” has effectively increased the efficiency and precision with which businesses can learn about customer behaviour and their consumption patterns, design offers and target specific high value customer management.

Data is not however the domain of just big business – it is everywhere and is a significant and largely untapped business asset.

Most Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in particular have little knowledge of what data they hold, how to access it or the types of incredibly valuable insights that can be delivered from it using data analytics and business intelligence. Data analytics holds the key to unlocking value across the business and is most commonly used in the following areas:

- Point of sales systems - Compliance monitoring
- CRM, sales and marketing - Security and business resilience
- Product and service design - Research and development
- Supply chain and procurement - Service delivery performance
- Asset management and utilisation - Prevention of fraud, theft and misappropriation
- Employee performance and behaviours       - Inventory management and optimisation
- Risk management - Resourcing and rostering
- Strategic planning and forecasting - Logistics

Every aspect of the business can be improved with the use of data analytics. Data analytics allows us to explore and unlock value that is deep within large and complex data sets, using powerful tools and techniques to analyse and interrogate the data in innovative and effective ways to identify trends, patterns, relationships and anomalies within the business (and to factors outside the business) which are critical to future success.

Some recent examples of how we are using data analytics and helping our clients understand and enhance their business:

  1. A café – focusing on business cycle, rostering efficiency and cash completeness
  2. A retail franchisor – focusing on monitoring franchisee transactions and behaviours across the franchise store network
  3. A membership-based organisation – focusing on deeply understanding the membership demographics and specific patterns of utilisation of club facilities to optimise member experiences and improve financial performance

In the current challenging and competitive business environment, data analytics is a key strategic competitive weapon available to all businesses, but few in the SME segment are utilising it. Over the coming few years, those businesses which fail to leverage the value of their data through analytics and business intelligence will struggle to compete.

Pathways to value creation using data analytics:

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Key benefits of using data analytics:

  1. Identifying deeper and more specific insights that are beyond the possibility of traditional methods of analysis
  2. Efficiency and speed of delivery, even with very large data
  3. Powerful visualisations across entire data populations that immediately highlight the key insights

We have seen first-hand how data analytics and business intelligence can deliver real and significant value to organisations of all shapes and sizes – from the corner café, to medical research organisations, retail, fashion, manufacturing, services, not-for-profits and government departments. Whatever the business problem or challenge, we have an effective data-driven business intelligence analytics solution.


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