The Benefits of Applying Analytics to Hidden Data Sources

The Benefits of Applying Analytics to Hidden Data Sources

by January 19, 2021

Data usage to drive business insight has exploded. These days, every successful company is data-driven. The challenge that companies face these days is collecting more data than they bargained. As IoT and mobile devices continue to proliferate across industries, companies are increasingly sitting on data pools that remain untapped.

Bringing analytics to these hidden data pools will help organizations leap ahead of their competition. Here are 3 digital gold mines that are ripe for tapping.


Cost Center Processes

It’s true that no company ever went bankrupt because they paid an invoice late. Accounts Payable is often overlooked during company-wide efficiency improvement programs. Account payable employees routinely resort to manual processes to reconcile invoice data to purchase orders and delivery receipts.

However, account payable automation can help companies reduce their costs by capturing early payment discounts. Data gathered from account payable automation can also bring insight into vendor performance. Dispute resolution becomes easier since everything is documented in digital audit trails. As a result, vendor relationships become stronger and top-level executives gain insight into cash flow patterns.

Expense management and reimbursement is another area that is overlooked. Yet, expense claims submitted by employees contain a wealth of information that helps companies reduce their costs. Analytics packages can help you capture service provider discounts and alert you to abnormal expense claims. You can then create customized workflows that bring greater audit control to deter suspicious activity.

Pattern recognition within analytics packages can help you spot trends in employee behavior that might lead to fraud. Expense fraud is a serious matter and is regulated by tax authorities closely by examining audit trails. Another area where analytics comes into play is determining patterns within travel partner discount offers and the most opportune times to book employee travel.

When analytics are applied to both AP and expense management, companies can predict their cash flows with greater accuracy and project working capital needs better.


Employee Data

Recruiting and retaining top talent is a challenge these days. Many businesses are starting to use analytics to help determine the best ways to keep their employees happy and ensuring compliance with regulations. An analytics package can help you calculate the optimal salary to offer to a prospective employee.

Determining salary and benefits packages goes beyond offering an amount that is above average for that position. You need to balance country-specific regulations with the incentives you can offer your employees.

Payroll is one of the biggest expenses that companies incur, and it’s imperative to bring analytics to it. Several companies in the start-up space have recognized this and have begun offering payroll BI solutions that bring insight into payroll expenses across multiple locations within global organizations. Differentiating between gross and net costs for each employee and grouping them by location or branch can help companies project their cash flow needs.

Aside from salary benchmarking, payroll analytics can also help you plan workforce levels better. For example, some locations mandate high employee insurance contributions. In such places, it might be better to hire workers on a contractual or part-time basis to reduce costs.

Employee payroll carries  a wealth of information. You can project the costs of hiring and training a new employee versus the business impact of losing confidential data. Answering the question of whether you ought to hire a new employee or retain the older employee through higher compensation becomes simple. Your workforce’s demographics also play a role in infrastructure decisions.

A younger workforce might appreciate flexible hours with better salary matching benefits. An older workforce might prefer more remote work and health insurance contributions. Deciding to work out of an open office might not appeal to the older demographic. Analyzing employee data is the key to making intelligent workforce decisions.

Analytics will help you develop better corporate policies that help you retain talented employees and make your firm a desirable place to work. Best of all, you can rely on visually rich dashboards in your analytics package instead of using outdated spreadsheets. In a competitive business environment, this is an advantage that you must capture.


Customer Interactions

Sales and marketing teams use data to create campaigns and understand customers better. However, a significant gap exists when it comes to running analytics on customer interaction data. Companies spend a lot of time on social listening but often ignore what their customers tell them directly.

Capturing customer interaction data through chatbots, emails, and forms is simple, but most companies neglect these data during root cause analyses. A lot of effort and money is spent on attracting new customers, but existing ones are neglected. Marketing research has shown time and again that a repeat customer is more valuable than a new one.

Understanding what drove a customer to use your product and what they’re currently dissatisfied with will help you increase their lifetime value and your bottom line. Analytics can help you retain a larger portion of your customers and help you figure out which campaigns appeal to them.


Untapped Gold Mines

There are other untapped sources of data that companies can utilize. However, these 3 sources are a good place to start. Given the challenging nature of modern business environments, leveraging these data pools is essential to sustain a competitive advantage.