Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Shedding Some Light on the Subject of Data

Genius is one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration, according to American inventor Thomas Edison. He should know. After all, he held 1,093 US patents, including a system for electric power generation and distribution. Edison is quite a hero of mine – I work for a company that manufactures light bulbs. Unfortunately, while we had the perspiration angle covered, our inspiration left a lot to be desired. And it was affecting our efficiency in a big way.

Historically, we have based our decisions on hard facts. The problem with this approach was the amount of time we spent working to get reliable data. We spent more time poring through spread sheets and pivot tables than we did analysing data and making decisions.

One of the big advantages of being a small business is agility. You can normally react to changes in the market quickly and steal a march on your competitors. But we were losing this advantage because of our convoluted and time-consuming data processes. We didn’t have the information in time to make the decisions we needed to.

Fortunately, as we’re an SAP partner, we implemented SAP Crystal Server to solve this problem. It didn’t take long to implement and set up and before long, we had dashboards and reports to give us all the information I needed to make good decisions, quickly.

Now, we’re running more efficiently and more people in the business are starting to use SAP software to analyse their data. When I think of all the time we used to spend working with spread sheets it doesn’t bear thinking about. Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s any less perspiration, it just means we’re directing our efforts into more strategic, fruitful tasks. 

For more information on SAP Crystal Server click here.

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