Given the economic impact of COVID-19 and a possible coming recession, Australian businesses need to identify and plug financial leakage quickly to prevent further losses. However, using data analytics to stop financial waste remains a lever that is criminally under-pulled.
Statistics show that by accurately capturing and cleaning data, businesses can reduce total spend by 1% – 5 per cent with data-driven spend analysis. In fact, around 17 per cent of supplier contracts contain incorrectly or under-collected terms income or cost price overcharges, according to Profectus.
Similarly, a technology-led recovery service improves recoveries by up to 36 per cent over traditional recovery auditors, identifying between 3.5 and 4.5 errors in every 10,000 transactions.
To date, Profectus receives and analyses over 10 million data items every day, managing over 1 million products, and it has recovered more than $120 million in transaction errors for its clients, and has automated over 10,000 claims a day into its clients’ finance systems.
With Australian businesses suffering on average around a 20 per cent loss at this challenging time in history, identifying financial waste through data analytics and automation could make the difference between staying in business, and folding.
No one can afford to throw away money at this time, and yet many are, because many businesses still use manual spreadsheets to record, analyse and report data, leading to significant human error in what amounts to billions of lines of data. This adds up to millions in wasted money each year.
This, in turn, also has a ripple effect beyond the obvious, to suppliers and secondary industries, all of which are already under threat.
It is more vital than ever in the current climate to be able to analyse data quickly, to plug leaks and eliminate human error, to keep more Australian businesses in operation.
Data analytics can make the difference
The benefits of data analytics are varied, and few can dispute them. And yet, there is still a reticence within some older, more established businesses to migrate data to a platform, due to security or privacy fears, and downtime perceptions.
However, a good data analytics platform can help analyse terabytes of data more accurately to identify and rectify costly errors, faster. This in turn frees up management attention to focus on more ‘human’ aspects of business operation, such protection or mitigation.
Profectus reviews hundreds of thousands of invoices on behalf of its customers, along with any agreement data. It recently recognised it needed to be able to crunch the data for its clients faster, while boosting the productivity, efficiency, and accuracy of processing these vast volumes of data at scale.
Profectus’ Chief Technology Officer, Mark Webster, says many of its clients still use excel spreadsheets to record data, leading to significant human error in what can amount to billions of lines of data.
“Following COVID-19, some operations will simply not be able to return to normal, so any gain in data efficiency now can only improve future operation,” he says. “Given the economic impacts we’re all suffering, now more than ever businesses need to understand any financial leakage they might have and be able to identify it quickly and get on top of it straight away to minimise risk and protect revenue.”
Profectus now uses data analytics and business intelligence platform Sisense, as a single source of truth for client data.
“We wanted to have algorithms, ‘visualisation stations’, that actually tease out the differences in the data in a much more automated way, so that we’re not just throwing more and more human capital at it, but actually leveraging smarter technology,” Mark says.
“For example, we ran a representative data set we had in our data warehouse through a different solution, but we killed the process at 20 minutes because that was already unacceptable both from a customer experience and cost perspective,” Mark says. “With Sisense, we ran the same data set, and it processed the query within 20 seconds – we were stunned. This sort of data efficiency gain is a big deal for us, because it helps us to achieve the scale we need to serve our customers and grow as an organisation.”
According to Regional Vice President of APAC for Sisense, Eyal Mekler, in times of recession, it’s critical for data-smart organisations across Australia to drive better efficiencies and minimise waste, and better use of data is key to this to help unlock the value of data at a deeper level and drive actionable insights at scale, to save money.
“Profectus is a great example of how an organisation that is purpose-built to support other businesses streamline their spending and leverage data more efficiently, which is really helping businesses in the current situation,” he says. “Sisense is excited to play a role in helping Profectus along that journey, to help unlock the value of data at a deeper level and drive actionable insights at scale.”
Scott Castle, VP & GM of Sisense for Cloud Data Teams, said having the right approach to data analytics can make or break businesses during times of recession, and beyond.
“In smart, forward-thinking businesses, Data is the catalyst which achieves cost efficiencies and streamline workflows – and more importantly, allows them to delve deeper into customer behaviours to unlock new insights, and to drive innovation. There is no limit to the transformative impact of data when it is leveraged well.”
Sisense offers the only independent analytics platform for builders to simplify complex data and build and embed analytic apps that deliver insights to everyone inside and outside their organizations. Sisense lets builders collaborate on a single platform, delivered in a hybrid, cloud-native environment with the industry’s lowest cost of ownership, to create true democratization of data and analytics. More than 2,000 customers worldwide, including large enterprises, Fortune 500 companies, smaller startups, and nonprofits rely on Sisense.
Industry leaders like GeriMedica, Tinder, Philips, Nasdaq, and the Salvation Army utilize Sisense to turn complex data into insights with the speed, power, and flexibility needed to gain a competitive advantage. Learn more at www.sisense.com.
Profectus is an international technology and services company providing world-leading solutions for rebate and deal management, contract compliance and accounts payable audits. Founded 20 years ago and with offices in Australia, NZ, USA and The UK, their solutions are leveraged by 100 ASX listed companies, including Westpac and HSBC, Coca Cola Amatil, Vodafone, Coles, Kmart, JP Morgan, and Rio Tinto, just to name a few. Learn more at www.profectusgroup.com/