Advanced Data to Drive Change

Monday, March 25, 2019

5 minute read

Advanced Data to Drive Change

According to a survey from the Hackett Group, 95% of CPOs say they “believe digital transformation will fundamentally change the way services are delivered over the next three to five years.” It’s a sign that no matter what industry you work in, the future hinges on data.​


In just two decades, advanced algorithms have gone from beating the world chess champion to beating the world champion in games like Jeopardy and Go (a board game with tens of millions of possible moves). Achieving wins in both Jeopardy and Go required tremendous advances in data analytics and machine learning — advances that have already started to affect businesses around the world over.

The transformation has already started

Machine learning and artificial intelligence simply aren’t possible without the capacity to crunch trillions of data points. This is especially true for finance departments, which are on the cusp of change. According to the same survey from The Hackett Group, 38% of finance departments are piloting artificial intelligence programs and 20% are piloting solutions that use the internet of things.

How do you manage this change successfully?

Of course, these changes will have an enormous impact on the workforce. Procurement simply will never be the same again. But that’s okay -because thanks to advancements in technology, automated processes, and artificial intelligence, the purchase-to-pay (P2P) process doesn’t become obsolete, it becomes more advanced while creating new opportunities for procurement professionals and the entire business

To echo a prior post, we advised business leaders to do five things when instituting new systems.

  1. Consider the perspective of your team members by considering how it feels for to be in their shoes and facing the unknown.

  2. Communicate frequently, especially when it comes to illustrating how advanced analytics and new processes will benefit each individual as they prepare for the change.

  3. Take time to celebrate the rollout of each new system. Take the appropriate time to move onto the next big thing.

  4. Showcase each new system, opening up dialogue and discussions across the company.

  5. Hold fun internal competitions to encourage people to fully adopt the new system.

These five steps can serve as a guide for each step on the way to integrating machine learning and advanced analytics in the workplace.

Take advantage of dashboards 

We also encourage user friendly dashboards as a way to make certain that everyone’s on the same page. With the right dashboards, you’ll be in the best position to drill down into what’s happening at every level of your purchase-to-pay (P2P) operations. Dashboards enable you to instantly and dynamically track whether the new technological changes and heightened focus on data are causing your team to work more efficiently and effectively. These dashboards also arm your business team members with heightened intelligence that can be used in more strategic ways, empowering them to take on more “bigger picture” strategic thinking, leaving the nitty-gritty to the behind-the-scenes technology.

It’s worth noting that all of this requires careful attention to the right KPIs from the outset. If you don’t know what you’re measuring, you won’t know if or when you get there. So be sure to devote considerable time and resources to form the right KPIs.

People, processes, platforms--in that order

Above all, change management is about three things:

  1. People,

  2. Processes, and

  3. Platforms.

Your level of concern should work in that order. See the change from the perspective of each individual, motivating them to prepare for change. Get your processes in order, even before you launch a new technology. Then, and only then, implement the machine learning algorithms you’ll need to compete in the purchase-to-pay landscape of the future.

Ready to learn more? 

Learn how data affects every part of your S2P process in our latest whitepaper.Have questions or want to learn more? Contact us!