Here is an actual conversation (condensed) where a client was pretty insistent on using PowerBI without fully understanding what it is but more importantly that another set of solutions would provide far more value and help his business far more effectively.
Business Owner : We need PowerBI
dataSights : Why?
Business Owner : Our reporting is horrible, it’s manual and we can’t easily get the info we need.
dataSights : What info do you need?
Business Owner : Purchase order and current pricing info so we can tell if we need to update our stock prices.
dataSights : Do you need to know about this info in real-time and only for the affected products?
Business Owner : Yes.
dataSights : And who is the audience and where do they work in the business?
Business Owner : Me and the purchasing guy.
dataSights : Do you both sit in front of a computer all day?
Business Owner : No, we are all over the warehouse, shop front, on the road and in the office sometimes.
dataSights : So would a daily email that only tells you about the affected products work better than an online report that you have to log into?
Business Owner : Yes, that would be better.
dataSights : So you don’t need PowerBI, you need a daily email that highlights your stock which needs it’s cost price updated based on your most recent Purchase Orders…
Business Owner : Boom!
Whilst it is amazing that Microsoft, Amazon and Google have marketed PowerBI, QuickSights and Google Data Studio respectively so incredibly well AND that they are all amazing visualisation tools, which to boot are extremely cost-effective (mostly FREE!), they also do businesses a disservice. Their marketing departments make everyone believe that the issue will be solved by visualising data. And sometimes this is the case, however, in ALOT of instances it’s a suite of data based solutions that help the business operate more effectively. NOT just putting in a new tool.
So let’s continue with the solution conversation;
dataSights : So now you have your products that need their prices updated what’s next?
Business Owner : We need to go into our cloud based inventory system and update each products price, ensuring we maintain a certain margin %.
dataSights : Is that a manual, potentially mistake ridden, inefficienct process?
Business Owner : You know it.
dataSights : So if you stored the Margin% against each product, and we built you an ExcelAddIn, which was able to;
1) look at the PO info
2) the Margin% of each product
3) Suggest a new Retail price based on the new PO price
4) Update your 9,000 products at the push of one button
Would that be of interest?
Business Owner : Are you having a laugh?
dataSights : We do like a laugh, but saving you hours a day and automating a terrible manual process through data automation is no laughing matter.
Business Owner : Well, what are you waiting for…?
Data is the core of any business, but it’s not just making decisions off data that will help your business run more efficiently. Trent McLaren has coined the “Follow me Home” approach for accountants that want to offer the next level of service for their clients. By going into a business, taking the time to understand the painpoints and inefficiencies it’s possible to make a massively material difference to a business. Who doesn’t want to walk into a client and be greeted by air high fives upon arrival?
Finally onto PowerBI!
Now let’s get a summary of where we are;
1) Relevant people in the business are notified when they need to action something.
2) They have the means to action decisions with minimal effort and maximum effectiveness
3) They now have the time to do some strategic analysis and make some data-driven insightful decisions.
Now we can talk about whether PowerBI or Amazon QuickSights or Google Data Studio is the correct tool to visualise some more strategic decision making over a consolidated dataset….
If you would like to understand more about the potential of consolidating the data in your business and tailoring views to effect operational and strategic benefit, please… get in touch 🙂