Driving competitive advantage with better management reporting
In competitive industries, gaining an edge over businesses offering similar products or services is incredibly valuable. But achieving that upper hand can often be easier said than done.
In recent years, the use of data and reporting has been lauded as the answer to all of business’s problems. While right now that might be a stretch, there is something to be said for the competitive advantage that the smart use of improved management reporting can grant.
By investing in better management reporting tools, you can drive your business forward and gain a competitive edge. Here’s how.
Better informed decision making
At decision-making level in a business, the pressure to make fruitful choices and avoid bad decisions can be difficult to manage, and stifle bold decisions or new ideas for fear of jeopardising the business’s success.
However, with better management reporting, you can use data to make more informed decisions, allowing you to feel confident in making riskier choices by being fully aware of the potential consequences.
Using powerful scenario modelling tools, you can test out options for your business before implementing any decisions, and using customised variables, you can create possible scenarios to see how bottom lines are affected by decisions, changes in the market, and best, worst, and most likely case conditions.
In this way, decisions can be made with strong, data-backed predictions on how different options will affect the business, in relation to multiple external factors.
Powerful reporting requires access to your business’ data, and this often means that information needs to be housed in data warehousing systems or data lakes, as opposed to departmentalised silos. What this means is that your reporting is not only taking into account all of the different facets of the business, but your whole company can now work from a single source of truth.
This allows for fewer miscommunications, mistakes, or miscalculations due to different teams using out of date information or inaccurate data. When the business works in a more joined-up fashion, things operate more efficiently, customer satisfaction is higher, and reporting shows a fuller, more accurate picture of the business as a whole.
With this, your management reporting can lead to smarter decision-making processes, taking in account each dataset and each department’s contribution to overall performance.
Respond to the market
Regardless of the industry in which you operate, external factors are always going to play a part in the direction of the market. Legislation, technology, cultural norms, and fashions and trends are all affecting how businesses perform, sometimes at breakneck speed.
Being quick to adapt to new trends, changes in customer preferences, newly introduced legislation, or new technologies grants you a competitive advantage over those who are slower to respond.
The ability to spot changes at an early stage requires powerful management reporting tools that utilise your company’s data to identify emerging trends. Using AI, programmes can provide in-depth analytics to inform decision making and allow you to spot market shifts early.
With this, your business becomes more agile, and can more easily outperform the competition through adaptability and the use of fast analytics to respond to the terrain ahead.
A clearer way forward
Working out why new customers are going elsewhere, why clients aren’t returning, or why buyers are abandoning carts is vital for improving your business and gaining competitive advantage.
With powerful analytics and reporting tools, you can see where in the customer journey people are a dropping off, or get indications of what services or product features potential clients are looking for that sends them to your competitors.
These insights can highlight urgent ways forward to fully cater for your client base, as well as eliminate any factors that are driving customers elsewhere.
Gain an edge
Competitive advantage means listening to the market, careful planning, critical investigation of current operations, and improvement of processes and data management. With better management reporting tools, you can make small but significant changes to your business that drive it forward and ahead of the competition.