A successful business needs reliable and real-time information as the basis for decision-making. However, often businesses have to make decisions based on insufficient information. Critical data is typically either not available or its production takes up an unreasonable amount of resources, which is often due to either data having been scattered into multiple separate systems or discrepancies between the company’s information systems and reality.

The first problem, the scattered data, results in its insufficient availability which can be solved by changing over to an integrated system. The second problem, the discrepancy between the information systems and the reality, though, requires a sufficient understanding of the business processes and the system users. Therefore it is essential to understand why some information is either not entered into the system at all or it is entered wrongly or why the data structures do not enable answering critical business-related questions.

Read more about how typical challenges related to the value chain of leading with knowledge can be solved with SAP Business One and sensible planning.

Data collection and management

The typical challenges related to data collection and management are roughly of three types. Firstly, data may be collected in multiple locations which means that its utilization requires time consuming combining and editing. Secondly, data can be of poor quality, i.e. unreliable, insufficient or problematically constructed. In the worst case scenario, all necessary data is not collected at all, in which case no amount of tinkering with Excel will remedy the situation.

Solutions: The first problem can be solved with an integrated system, but solving the latter two require smart planning of a company-specific implementation. In practice this translates into defining the data necessary for decision-making, analysing the data structures, defining suitable locations for the data in the system and confirming the accuracy of the data entered. It is essential to understand that the system in itself only solves part of the problems and that the partner in charge of the implementation is of great importance in regards to the achievable benefits.

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Solution benefits

  • Relevant, high-quality and easily utilizable data enables the creation of desired analyses and, as a result, achieve good returns.

Data analysis

Typical challenge: Even if high-quality and easily utilizable data is available, raw data alone does not provide analytical insight into business operations. In addition to data collection, this requires either a labor-intensive manual refining process or an expensive BI system. Even though grounds for purchasing a separate BI system exist, it is not a problem-free solution. Because the transaction information collected by an ERP system or systems is transferred to a separate data repository according to a schedule, the data the analyses are based on is always outdated to some extent. In addition, BI systems are often somewhat complicated and generating new analyses and reports requires special technical expertise.

The solution is SAP Business One version for SAP HANA as it has a built-in BI system, making a separate and often expensive data repository unnecessary. Because the computing power of the in-memory SAP HANA database technology enables real-time calculation, it makes generating desired analyses possible “on the fly”. The analyses are thus not limited by predetermined calculation logics like in the traditional data repository + BI world and making changes does not require an expensive consultant. The tools included in the solution enable self-service BI with drag-and-drop, so in principle anyone who has been trained can create their own analyses based on real-time data.

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Solution benefits

  • Save on investment costs as SAP Business One version for SAP HANA offers large enterprise level analytics for a price suitable for SMEs.
  • Practically anyone can create the analyses they want independently without the continuous support of a system consultant.
  • The analyses are always based on the real-time situation.

Sharing information

Typical challenge: When data has been collected and refined into the form of indicators and analyses, it should next be possible to share this information within as well as outside the organization. Sharing information is rarely as straightforward as one would think and it may be, for example, that extracting necessary official reports from the system is impossible. Customizing standard reports such as the profit-and-loss account or the balance sheet is often difficult and the organization has to adapt to the system-defined framework. When sharing information is not possible, the company’s key indicators are not visible in the personnel’s everyday work either.

Solution: SAP Business One offers the necessary local official reports in Finland and many other countries and, after receiving training, the client can customize existing reports as well as create new ones independently. In addition, SAP Business One version for SAP HANA offers its users an individual, completely customizable interface called the cockpit, which enables employees to view indicators representing their effectiveness in their day-to-day work.

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Solution benefits

  • Save time and money as desired reports can be extracted from the system effortlessly.
  • Thanks to easily customizable reports, the information needed in any situation is readily available which helps make better decisions.
  • The employees’ situational picture and actions reflect the company’s goals.
  • The employees’ motivation increases as the relationship between one’s own work and its results becomes visible thanks to the shareability of data.