Enhance business growth with data visualisation

Discover the potential of data visualisation in driving higher profits and grasp the impact of real-time data on fostering well-informed business choices.

In today’s era, where data is hailed as the modern gold rush, you might sense that you’re engulfed by an ocean of data, yet famished for meaningful insights. But, what if a method to transform those raw, intricate numbers into easily comprehensible, actionable revelations existed?

This is precisely where the potential of data visualisation comes into play. Let’s explore how this approach can revamp your financial reporting and drive growth within your business. It aids your finance team in comprehending and effectively communicating your financial data to stakeholders.

Here’s what we will delve into:

Insights for Informed Business Choices 
Understanding Visualised Reporting 
Challenges with Conventional Reporting 
Insufficiencies in Real-time Data
The Benefits of Tailored Dashboards 
Leveraging Data Visualisation for Profitability 
Communication and Exploratory Capabilities 
Experiment with Real-time Visualisation
The Significance of Data Visualisation

Insights for Informed Business Choices

Analysing financial data quickly and accurately is becoming increasingly critical to stay competitive. As many companies digitalise financial processes, they collect huge amounts of data about their business operations and customers.

But the real insight is understanding how that data should be utilised to make better business decisions, which has led to a rising trend in financial reporting – visual reporting.

Understanding Visualised Reporting 

Visual reporting provides a more intuitive way of understanding financial data, making it easier for stakeholders to identify key trends and insights. It presents the financial data in a more engaging and accessible format, rather than just numbers!

Visual reporting enables your finance team to create interactive dashboards and reports that provide real-time insights into your company’s financial health to inform strategic decision-making – which is gaining momentum at board level decision-making. 

Foundry is an integrated marketing technology and data provider firm. Its 2021 Data and Analytics survey found that 69% of organisations are piloting or using visual dashboards and data visualisation tools to consolidate and share information.

A recent Sage article explains, by 2025, data stories will be the most widespread way for organisations to consume analytics, according to research and consulting firm Gartner.

“Portraying financial data in a user-friendly way allows people to discover connections they wouldn’t have seen otherwise,” says Scott Freedman, director of marketing at Sage Intacct.

“With that information, they can make decisions that improve the business.”

But it’s yet to gain traction at many organisations.

Gartner says more than half of finance departments struggle to provide data or reports stakeholders can rely on to inform their decisions.

Challenges with Conventional Reporting 

Despite the critical role that financial reporting plays in decision-making, traditional reporting methods can be challenging to manage. 

Data silos, which occur when data is stored in disparate systems, makes it difficult to consolidate and analyse. This results in a fragmented view of the company’s financial health. Another significant limitation of traditional financial reporting is the use of spreadsheets, which can be time-consuming and error prone, which can have significant consequences for your business.

Insufficiencies in Real-time Data

Today, the need for easy quick access to financial data to make informed decision-making is vital. Using spreadsheets when it comes to handling real-time data is timely, leading to missed opportunities and costly errors.

The true value of data emerges on how individuals can effortlessly locate it, understand its significance, and effectively apply it. When data is buried within spreadsheets and scattered across different departments, teams often encounter difficulties in pinpointing its location.

“Data is too often siloed and represented in ways that don’t allow people to slice and dice it the way they need to,” says Freedman.

In addition, spreadsheets can’t keep up with real-time operations. “They are stuck in time,” adds Freedman. “They show recent or long-term past performance, but not the real-time reporting you need to predict the future.”

The Benefits of Tailored Dashboards 

Frustrated by the ineffective utilisation of their data, management teams are embracing new technology that aggregate data across the organisation, showcasing it through personalised visual dashboards. As they create a logical story to contextualise the data and combine it with graphical representations to give it life.

Finance teams can then effortlessly analyse the information to determine successful strategies and identify areas that need improvement, consequently deploying these insights to enhance operations or identify fresh revenue avenues.

Customisable dashboards offer real-time overview of financial data whilst providing the ability to track key performance indicators (KPIs).

With dashboards, you can select the most relevant data points and visualise them in a way that is easy to understand and more accessible to a broader audience.

  • Data narratives and graphical representations help to create a story around the data, providing context and insight into the numbers.
  • Graphical representations, such as charts and graphs, help to visualise the data, making it easier to identify trends and patterns.

Customisable dashboards also help you tailor your reporting to specific user groups.

For example, executive-level dashboards may focus on high-level financial data, while departmental dashboards may drill down into more granular data relevant to specific teams. Each user group has the information they need to make informed decisions.

Leveraging Data Visualisation for Profitability

An example of a company using data visualisation is Quicksilver Express Courier.

This ‘last mile’ delivery service collected data about its fleet but lacked visibility about individual vehicle profitability.

After adopting cloud financial software, Quicksilver’s finance executives could drill down into the profit and loss for each truck.

As a result, the company learned it was overpaying for workers’ compensation insurance, and subsequent adjustments saved £100,000 a year.

Other changes based on insights Quicksilver gained from the platform helped the company increase total profitability at some locations by 5% to 25%.

Enhanced Communication and Exploratory Capabilities 

Customisable dashboards provide a snapshot of critical financial data and can improve communication between your executives, teams and supply chain.

Senior executives are empowered to confidently make informed decisions with real-time access to the most up-to-date financial data. Dashboards also provide a common language that everyone in your business can understand, helping to break down silos and ensure everyone is on the same page. This not only improves communication but also helps to build a culture of data-driven decision-making.

Experiment with real-time visualisation

Customisable dashboards provide a powerful tool to experiment, innovate, and make data-driven decisions-based insights you gain from real-time data visualisations.

Think about playing around with your dashboards, using real-time information, charts, and graphs. It’s about trying out ideas for improving processes or services.

“You can look backwards or forward and use real-time insights to predict future results,” says Freedman.

With access to real-time data, you can test ideas and adjust on the fly, helping your teams respond quickly to changing market conditions.

For example, your marketing teams can use real-time data to test different messaging and campaigns, while product teams can use data to identify areas for improvement and drive innovation.

The ability to experiment and innovate in real-time is a significant advantage. You can stay ahead of the competition and drive growth with real-time data visualisations.

The Significance of Data Visualisation

Partner with Xplor to harness data visualisation and customisable dashboards to equip businesses with the necessary tools to analyse financial data swiftly and accurately. Utilising our implementation software can help you remain ahead of the curve and facilitate more informed decision-making.

Sage Intacct’s visual reporting introduces a more instinctive approach to comprehending financial data, simplifying the process for your stakeholders to spot significant patterns and insights. By amalgamating and presenting financial data in an accessible manner, you’ll enhance communication between executives and teams.

There’s no need to delay partnering with Xplor to unleash the complete potential of your financial data and propel growth within your organisation.

Consider delving into the capabilities of a data visualisation tool to revolutionise your reporting process today, potentially involving the exploration of Sage Intacct – cloud financial management software that’s tailored to your specific requirements.

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