Here at Apliqo, we’re always pushing ourselves to stay on the cutting edge of planning and analytics so that we can help our clients optimise their processes and ultimately arrive at better decisions. As a result, when we saw that BARC had released their ‘Data, BI, and Analytics Trend Monitor’ report for 2023, we thought that we would highlight some of the key trends identified there and delve into what it means for companies who are striving to make the most of their company data.
Here are five of the trends that stood out for us:
Data quality management
This one might seem obvious but it’s curious to see just how little attention it tends to get within modern corporations. The quality of your data is going to have a direct impact on the quality of the decisions that get made and so it’s worth investing time and effort into proactive data quality management. This involves having defined data roles, robust quality assurance processes, continuous data monitoring, regular audits, and a bias toward transparency, just to name a few.
Understandably, this is often the sort of work that gets deprioritised in the short term because there is so much else going on within the business. However, that’s a mistake. If you want to make the most of the available data, you should be continuously working to evaluate the quality of your collection and processing, so that you can spot errors early and take corrective action. If you leave this too long, you risk running a business based on false, incomplete, or unreliable data.
Building on the above, another key trend that is becoming increasingly important is the over-arching mindset and culture that organisations should be aiming to nurture when it comes to data. With more and more available and better analysis tools at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to make truly data-driven decisions. But this requires the social engineering and buy-in across your company to make this work.
Leaders and managers need to have data at the front of their minds during day-to-day activities and leverage its power to transform what happens in the company. The only way to make this an automatic consideration is to entrench it in the culture, so that it’s “just something that we do”. This takes quality education, careful messaging, intentional performance incentives, and a lot of consistent effort – but it makes a big difference when you get it right.
This is something we’re very passionate about here at Apliqo because we believe that every person should be able to dig into their company data themselves and get the answers they need without having to log a call and wait for a business intelligence team to get to their ticket. So much of what Apliqo builds is about bringing data (in all its complexity) into an intuitive interface that can enable self-service functionality and we’re glad to see it finally getting the focus it deserves throughout the industry.
Empowering your team to do their own analytics might be the best thing you do for your company in 2023.
Cloud for data and analytics
The FP&A industry has followed a similar trend to almost every other industry in terms of migrating from on-premise solutions to the cloud. This is a direct response to the nature of work changing with more distributed teams that all need to collaborate in real-time, and the shifting economics with regard to hosting software platforms and the data that they store. Migrating to a cloud-based solution is a major change for a lot of organisations, especially when they have long-established relationships with legacy systems. However, the pros far outweigh the cons and we’re likely to see every company move to a cloud deployment for their data and analytics in the years to come.
This last one is the new kid on the block, but it’s gaining speed and is likely to become a key pillar for the industry in the short and medium term. There is a tremendous amount of buzz about AI at present, so there is undoubtedly a lot of time and effort going into automation. But not just the automation of reporting or data processing, but actual decisions. Imagine a situation where your financial system monitors the demand signals that it’s receiving and automatically adjusts purchase orders, marketing spend, and other connected levers according to that data. This future is not far off and it is the first iteration of what is possible when you connect all your data into a single place that can leverage the drivers, connections, and correlations that exist from a holistic standpoint.
This is definitely a space to watch as this is going to radically transform how companies think about planning and analytics going forward.
Those are just five of the key trends that stood out for us, and we hope that they have piqued your interest enough to go and check out the full report. You can find that here.
Here at Apliqo, we’re constantly working to integrate our tools with the trends we’re seeing in the industry and so when you walk the journey with us, you can rest assured that you’re getting the cutting-edge ideas, processes, and software every step of the way. If this is something you want to explore, be sure to get in touch today, and let’s see how we can help.