The software you use for accounts, sales, purchases, marketing, HR and other management processes (aka your “app stack”) generates a goldmine of insightful data every day. The trick is to recognise and learn from those oh-so-important information nuggets. #digitaltransformation #businessdata

How do you record, measure, and analyse the data being generated by your business? Are you capturing the essentials or missing out on potentially valuable insights?

With so many apps and digital solutions available to businesses, there’s a wealth of useful data to trawl through – and plenty of hidden gems to unearth.

Pathfinder Solutions recommends these five ways to gain more benefit from your business data

1. Track your business finances
Managing your business accounts used to be something left to your finance director. But with cloud accounting now the norm, every business has 24/7 online access to detailed, up-to-date information about its financial position and performance. Deeper analysis and insights are usually available at the click of a button, helping you spot the pitfalls and potential opportunities.

For example, your accounting platform can show you:
• Profit & loss reports and balance sheets, with real-time data to help decision-making
• Cashflow forecasts and projections to help plan your future cash position
• Budget tracking and spending reports to help you stay in complete control of your expenditure

2. Review your credit score
Your company’s credit risk rating – as assigned by the big credit agencies – can have a massive impact on your ability to borrow. A high risk rating often means that banks and other lenders will be reluctant to offer you funding. And suppliers could be less open to offering you trade credit.

Credit bureaus allow you to check your business credit score. With a better understanding of your credit data, you can take action to improve your score.

To get in control of your credit position, you should:
• Find out your current credit score and how this is impacting your ability to borrow.
• Check out your payment history and take action to improve performance.
• Regularly check this credit data to track improvements or drops in your score.

3. Monitor your sales and marketing data
Steady sales revenues are crucial for any business that wants to grow. But how much oversight do you have over your past and future sales data?

A sales and marketing platform can help you track your sales, campaigns and customer relationships, providing you with a treasure trove of data to sift through and analyse.

Be sure to look carefully at:
• The products or services generating the most sales – and why
• Which customer demographic is the biggest spender, and why they’re your strongest advocates
• The campaigns delivering your best return on investment (ROI)

4. Track your staff performance
Your people are one of your company’s most important assets. But do you really know how well your employees are performing or how engaged they are with the overall business goals? HR software makes it easy to set core skills and capabilities and then monitor how each team member is performing over the course of the year.

As an employer, you can:
• Set performance and training targets, and see how your employees are tracking.
• Run satisfaction surveys and staff feedback to check in on team engagement.
• Use your data to acknowledge great work and motivate improved performance and energy in your workforce.

5. Measure your performance against targets
One of the major advantages of tracking your business data is being able to measure your performance against a specific target. Whether it’s a budget target for a new department or a sales target for a new marketing campaign, you have the performance data at your fingertips. This helps you motivate the team, work towards a common goal, and maybe even “gamify” your progress.

Sharing these targets and the performance data with your people at monthly team meetings can work wonders for motivation. When your employees, management, and executive team are all aiming for the same goals, you’ve got a much more powerful team.

Transitioning your business onto digital platforms is only the start! Once you’ve got everything working together, the tools at your fingertips can help you gain control of your data sharing, analytics and performance tracking – and this should be a genuine goal for any ambitious business in 2023.

Talk to Pathfinder Solutions about getting more from your data. We can help you connect up your app stack so that you can start benefiting from those precious data insights.

About Pathfinder Solutions

Pathfinder Solutions advisory team members have either owned or managed businesses, or are investors themselves, so we know first-hand the challenges you face in your world.

Sure we’re Accountants, but the best solutions in business come from focusing on more than just the numbers. Our real-world business experience delivers just that.

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