Embedded analytics is one of the key trends in financial processes. Instead of having separate Business Intelligence analytics applications, these capabilities are embedded, so intelligence is brought to the process / data, not the other way around.
There are many reasons why Accounts Payable and Purchasing departments should expect their solution vendors to provide embedded analytics instead of being dependent on “master-BI-programs”. These include:
Agility – Continuous changes within Accounts Payable mean the requirements for analytics are constantly evolving. When rolling out a procurement system, new items will be added that must be measured and followed. The list of needs for a master-BI-project is often long – and it often appears that change requests from individual departments are difficult to filter through. With well-designed embedded analytics and proper self-service tools, you will be equipped to modify and extend your reports independently whenever required. Or you can do ad-hoc queries to find the cause of bottlenecks.
Usability – Users will expect routines to be handled without jumping between a myriad of different systems. With financial processes, it is especially important to use data to support decisions – and follow up immediately. Drill-downs triggered by dynamic reports enable you to access activity screens without jumping between operative and reporting systems, making the process much more user-friendly.
Best practice dashboards and peer benchmarking – In the world of networks and shared interest groups, the ability to compare performance with other companies is an opportunity to gain ideas for further improvements. Modern embedded analytics solutions enable this with best practice dashboards and underlying database design, making data comparable between companies using it.
Cost – Embedded analytics should come with standard dashboards that are updated in version upgrades, with no need for manual refreshing. Self-service capabilities make it cost effective to extend and modify. Empowering all end users, not just a handful of directors, is the key to successful process adoption. Spreading access to embedded analytics for everyone should be possible without high costs per deployed client.
Analytics is the key to managing spend, cash flow and process improvements. The benefit of doing this through embedded tools is that you’ll get dashboards designed specifically for the processes you are responsible for and flexibility to develop your own measurements independently.