Business Analytics – Hype or Hero?

By Anthony Sullivan, Anthony Sullivan
Business Advisory Partner
17 February 2021

In 1981, Buckminster Fuller proposed the ‘knowledge doubling curve’. Up until 1900, the sum total of all human knowledge doubled every century or so. By 1950, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. By 2000, it was doubling every year and social science has demonstrated that knowledge is currently doubling almost every day! Digitisation, datafication and technological advances, including new types of data, mean that we are now privy to an insane amount of knowledge. Of course, a cursory glance at the internet or your social media feed may confirm your suspicion that a more accurate description of this phenomena would be the ‘information doubling curve’.

Most businesses already know that data and information is not knowledge. Most businesses are already overwhelmed, confused and thoroughly daunted by the amount of data and information they currently hold or could hold. And yet they don’t know how to convert that information into genuine business intelligence to positively impact results and profitability. To add to the pressure, it’s almost impossible to open any business or industry journal without seeing an article on AI, Big Data or Business Analytics.

Unfortunately, most companies are still a long way from harnessing the true power of data.

Partnering with NetSuite’s sophisticated ERP system PKF Digital is delivering genuine business intelligence by converting data and information into knowledge. Knowledge becomes power.

PKF Digital is able to benchmark business data against other similar businesses in the same sector to help the business owner gain a greater appreciation of relative performance. More importantly, we offer real time business insights that allow leaders to make better and faster operational decisions. Instead of being locked away in different systems in different parts of the business offering only limited, if any practical use, all the data is collected and displayed to the executive team through a series of comprehensive dashboards. PKF Digital then applies complex analytics to that data including, customer, employee, supplier and sales data to improve results. Benefits include, better margins, stronger sales and revenue mix and more efficient purchasing. We have also found that the level of precision offered by PKF Digital is allowing businesses to differentiate themselves in the industry, attract better employees and renegotiate better arrangements with suppliers due to the data evidence and predictive modelling.

Just one element of our offering, the predictive capability is game changing. Working with a hospitality client for example, the business is now able to predict sales on any given day based on a combination of past data, as well as unique inputs such as expected weather at a particular venue, scheduled sporting events or even interest rate changes. This has allowed the business to better roster staff and manage the supply chain more efficiently.

Using the right software to collect the right information and conduct the right analytics PKF Digital is able to send those insights back to our clients in real time so they can take action. For example, if the actual sales on a Thursday lunch time fall below predicted sales the manager of that venue will be alerted by text message so they can check their staff roster or take additional steps to get back on track.

Putting some numbers to this capability, in just one hospitality venue PKF Digital identified 8,000 potentially inefficient rostering hours which cost the business $350,000. There are five venues in the group and the potential saving across all five ran to $1.5 million.

There is little doubt that business analytics can have a profound, real time impact on efficiency and profitability. And the potential for improvement in any business across any sector is significant. PKF Digital offers business owners the type of power knowledge has always promised, but so frequently failed to deliver.

If you would to know more about the suite of services we can offer and how real time business analytics can elevate your company’s results and performance contact Anthony Sullivan on 02 8346 6000 for more information.