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The Benefits of Real-time Reporting and Data Analytics for Professional Services

Most professional services organizations have completed digital transformation, which is the trendy way of saying that they’ve moved operations to the cloud. Now that most of these businesses are in the cloud, though, the next evolution has arrived: using the advantages of digital transformation to actually drive intelligent decision-making.

Forget digital transformation. The new trend is the intelligent enterprise. Professional services firms will rise or fall depending on how they make this next jump.


Analytics is at the Heart of the Intelligent Enterprise

As with digital transformation, becoming an intelligent enterprise is a buzzword for an important but easily understood concept.

Essentially, an intelligent enterprise is a business that effectively uses analytics and real-time performance and market data to make better decisions and evolve the organization on an ongoing basis.

The heart of this intelligence rests on an organization being able to turn data into information, and then turning that information into organizational wisdom that is applied to the business on an ongoing basis.

Companies that already have made the jump show why the evolution to an intelligent enterprise is important. In 2020, 71 percent of companies considered an intelligent enterprise outperformed their peers in terms of revenue growth and operating margins, according to a study by SAP. By 2022, SAP found that all intelligent enterprises outperformed their peers. All of them.


Where Data Helps Professional Services

Real-time reporting and data analytics serve as the cornerstone for an intelligent enterprise. There are many areas these capabilities can benefit professional services organizations.

Resource Management

Professional service organizations need to manage their resources effectively to ensure that they are available when and where they are needed. This includes managing staff schedules, workload balance, and skill sets to meet project demands.

Real-time data can enable organizations to dynamically allocate staff and company resources based on the changing demands of client projects. Analytics can assist with optimizing people, resources and technology, and help with demand forecasting so professional services organizations have what they need before they need it.

Time Tracking and Billing

Professional services organizations need to accurately track the time spent on client projects and bill clients for that time, as well as accurately manage project spend. This requires robust time tracking and billing systems that can handle complex billing arrangements and ensure accurate invoicing.

Real-time data can automatically flow into automated billing systems for faster and more efficient billing, and analytics can both help predict project creep and keep tabs on payments outstanding.

Project Management

Professional services need to effectively manage client projects to ensure that they are completed on time, within budget, and to the client's satisfaction. This requires strong project management skills, tools, and processes.

Added visibility for better project management can come from real-time project data, and data analytics can help with monitor budgets, manage client sentiment, and spotting areas for process improvement.

Talent Management

Professional services firms need to attract, retain, and develop top talent to ensure that they can deliver high-quality services to clients. This requires effective recruiting, training, and professional development programs.

Analytics can help professional services organizations monitor employee performance against key metrics and uncover areas where individual talent needs help. With a better picture of performance, staffing and policies can be adjusted on an ongoing basis for increased operational efficiency and happier employee relationships.

Client Relationship Management

Professional services firms need to build strong relationships with clients to ensure that they are meeting their needs and expectations. This requires effective communication, relationship building, and client feedback mechanisms.

Analytics can help professional services organizations gain insights into their clients, including their needs, preferences, and behaviors, enabling them to deliver more personalized and targeted services. Analytics also can help professional services firms spot new trends in the market that can be used for developing new ways to meet emerging client needs. Real-time data can provide an automatic feedback loop. 

Financial Management

All businesses, including professional services firms, need to manage their finances effectively to ensure that they are profitable and sustainable. This includes managing cash flow, expenses, and revenue streams to ensure financial stability and growth.

Real-time data helps businesses monitor financial health more accurately. Better analytical capabilities can assist professional services organizations with forecasting future demand, revenue, growth, and trends in the market. This enables firms to plan more effectively, staff more accurately, and make more accurate predictions about service offerings and market trends.


Become an Intelligent Enterprise with ERP

To become an intelligent enterprise, professional services firms need real-time access to data and this data stored in an accessible, centralized backend system. They also must be able to plug this backend into AI and machine learning that will drive the analytical insights needed to operate as an intelligent enterprise.

In other words, professional services firms need ERP.

To learn more about how your business can become an intelligent enterprise, and the role that ERP plays in this transformation, contact one of our consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at info@nbs-us.com.

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