Automated Data Analytics: The Future of Decision Making

Feb 26, 2021 | Innovation, Trending

Decision makers

Ever lost important data points, conversations, and assumptions in your endless email threads or chats? 

Ever witnessed your carefully crafted business model being turned into a mess of broken cells and unreliable inputs as the spreadsheet is being bounced around between stakeholders?

This article will take about 4 minutes to read

Without organized data tracking and analysis, the overall decision-making process turns into a long road of wasted hours as stakeholders fight the flaws of the workflow, instead of focusing on insights. 

A study by McKinsey has proven that “data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable.” 

“A small error introduced during the initial stages of the decision-making process can ‘butterfly-effect’ itself into a disaster sometime in the future,” explains Gianluca BisceglieFounder & CEO of Visyond, a software that turns your Excel files into a decision-making platform.

“You never know when it’s going to happen. And when it does, it’s very hard to identify which specific issues have contributed to the chaos. The top-level decision makers who are impacted most, might not even be aware of this because they don’t actively participate in the process at its more granular levels.” 

In order to minimize these errors and keep transparency across all levels of business, it is essential to record, analyze, and dissect data. Presenting the findings in an easily digestibleorganized format, accessible by team members in real-time, is also key to improving the overall quality of decision-making. 

In fact, according to Forbes Insights and Cisco research, “a better analytics strategy leads to higher growth. An impressive 85% of companies that are succeeding with analytics (i.e. those organizations that consider themselves to be analytics pacesetters in their markets and have an enterprise-wide analytics strategy in place) are seeing revenue growth greater than 7%. Less than a quarter of analytics laggards reach that percentage.”

How COVID-19 has Amplified Difficulties in Team Coordination

Collaboration on spreadsheet models has always been challenging even prior to the restrictions that led to many working remotely from home. The process commonly involves multiple tools that often require error-prone manual setups. This can cause problems such as data loss, version chaos, and excessive dependence on key people (e.g. modelers) to drive the process forward.

Decision making platform
Source: Visyond

“What was already a painstaking process has now become even more challenging”, shares Bisceglie. “This means it is now imperative that companies take advantage of digital innovations in order to continue growing during these uncertain times.” By saving time through the implementation of tools like Visyond, productivity can be optimized and higher profits can be achieved. In fact, 56% of CEOs say digital improvements have led to increased revenue.

Furthermore, as more and more companies are moving online, more and more data is being created. It is vital that companies manage this data effectively. Poor information management can cause serious problems for businesses including inaccurate targeting and communications, poor decision-making, business inefficiencies, and a loss in overall revenue. 

Capitalizing on Increased Data Insights and Analytics

“The ability to capitalize on data insights and analytics can make or break a company.” – Forbes

Self-service analytics platforms are key for enabling stakeholders to control the aspects of the decision-making processes they are responsible for. This removes human bottlenecks and makes the decision-making process robust and transparent. Those who use collaborative cloud or on-premise solutions have an advantage as they don’t have to figure out how to provide access to the tools and data. 

For example, when an investment firm assesses an investment, they have to ask themselves several questions including:

  • Where are these assumptions coming from?
  • Are they reliable?
  • What if they change by X%?
  • What’s the probability that the value of this investment turns out to be negative?

This is normally done during weeks of back-and-forth exchanges between executives, managers, and analysts. Tremendous effort is required to avoid version chaos while ensuring knowledge management, accountability, and data attribution. Many manual setups, macros, or external tools are involved, increasing the probability of human error.

Instead, today it is possible to have integrated and automated solutions to solve all of the above.

Data analytics
Source: Visyond

“With just a few clicks, the all-in-one platform allows you to instantly visualize how changes affect KPIs through analysis automation and self-service stress testing, “ says Bisceglie. “This increases efficiency as information can be both tracked and accessed rapidly. The data gathered can then be used to update the fund performance according to any predictive model you have, while you can also decide who has visibility of what data.”

Ericsson Accelerates Its Business-Case Workflow by 80%

A company that has been witness to transforming their decision-making through such automated platforms is the Swedish, multinational, $36.9bn networking and telecommunications company, Ericsson. Since using the data analytics and decision-making platform, Visyond, it has recently seen an 80% boost in productivity for business cases such as representing the ROI and value of their solutions. 

Source: Ericsson

Previously, the company struggled with the complexity of their workflow as tracking information, analysis setup, debugging, and keeping visualizations in sync with models proved to be both challenging and time-consuming.  It was very challenging to answer ‘what-if’ questions on-the-fly, and their Excel model had to be encoded into a web app to help clients test assumptions independently. 

Not only that, but approximately 25-30 man-days were spent on modeling efforts, mainly due to frequent changes requested by customers. The Chief Modeler was often a bottleneck that resulted in long turnaround time to avoid accidental, costly, difficult to detect, mistakes that are typically introduced when multiple people edit a spreadsheet.

However, through implementing an integrated and automated solution, Ericsson has now gained access to a controlled, secure environment where customers are empowered to safely test assumptions. With the 1-click autoanalysis, as well as powerful debugging and auditing tools, time has been saved and the occurrence of errors has been reduced. As change requests were simplified, manual data consolidation and version comparison were no longer required. This dramatically improved turnaround time and reduced the risk of errors introduced by clients and account managers.

Improving the Accuracy of Decision-Making

As stated by Forbes“according to a survey conducted in Deloitte, 49% of respondents say that analytics help them make better decisions, 16% say it better enables key strategic initiatives, and 10% say it helps them to improve relationships with both customers and business partners.”

Visyond transforms Excel files into a structured and scalable decision-making platform that provides all the tools necessary for CEOs and their companies to both improve the quality of their data and manage it effectively. This allows them to get the most value out of their data analytics.

The platform automates creation of  forward-looking predictive financial statements or reports, and distributes interactive dashboards to LPs or relevant stakeholders. This provides a clear, organized representation of solid data from which improved, more effective strategies can be planned and implemented. It also allows for better investment decisions to be made, as they can be based on accurate, up-to-date numbers and audited, error-free financial models.   

“With Visyond, your team will make better and faster decisions, achieving results you couldn’t get with any other spreadsheet-based technology.” – Gianluca Bisceglie, Founder & CEO

Decision-making platform
Source: Visyond

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