There’s a term in network technology called ‘latency’ which refers to the delay between the execution of a command and the instruction given by the user. You’ll hear it most often in the world of high-speed training where a slight increase in latency (to the effect of a couple of milliseconds) can have a drastic negative impact on speed and thus performance.
In the world of FP&A, we’ve often thought that the concept of latency is something that deserves more attention – but rather than looking at it in terms of a network connection, we think of it as the amount of time it takes to process and analyze your financial and operational data before you can make a decision.
Where we’ve come from
If you look at the history of financial reporting, it’s always been a very backward-looking process. A business operates and at the end of the month passes all its key data to an accounting function that delivers reports on the performance during that month. These reports often would come days and weeks later – and by the time management could actually make decisions based on them, the information would be stale and out of date.
Sadly, this is still something that many companies deal with – especially as they grow in scale and complexity. We call this high-latency reporting, where the significant delay between accurate data and decision-making significantly diminishes the value of such information.
You have to be focused on lowering your data latency so that you can get the most out of the information that you are collecting and reporting on.
Lowering your data latency
The way you do this is by leveraging better tools to achieve faster workflows. The Apliqo suite of products, for example, has been designed to maximize efficiency and speed – allowing for near real-time reporting, even at very high levels of complexity. Instead of having to wait for an accounting function to do its bit, any user can go into the system and create custom reports that draw from the dynamic database structures within the business environment.
For example, a manager who wants to evaluate how a new marketing campaign has affected profitability can pull the exact data extract that they need and visualize it using Apliqo UX so that they can make a good decision. Instead of having to wait in a work queue or bottleneck, they are empowered to work with the data and get instant insights that make the world of difference.
This speed is worth its weight in gold in a world where everything is changing so fast. We’ve worked tirelessly to remove as much friction as possible so that our clients can lower their data latency and improve their agility without compromising on accuracy. Every small optimization here compounds in value over time and it can often be the difference between making the right decision and the wrong one.
It’s in these small moments where speed and decisiveness really pay off – but none of that is possible without the right software to enable it. Book a demo of Apliqo FPM today and let us show you what low data and reporting latency can do for your business.