By Mohammed Mosam, Director of Product Marketing, Sage Africa, Middle East & Asia
As South African organisations start preparing for growth beyond a health and economic crisis, business leaders have come to understand the need for business intelligence and analytics tools that are agile enough to keep up with a fast-changing and volatile market. It's not enough to make decisions based on siloed, historical reporting – leaders need up-to-the-second insights.
In this world, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is reasserting its importance. As the transactional engine of the enterprise, spanning most of its end-to-end business processes, the core business system contains much of the data that senior executives need to make good, timely strategic and operational decisions.
Research from Technology Evaluation Centers highlights a centralised data system as one of the top three benefits of ERP. Today, businesses of all sizes can reap this benefit by implementing a cloud-based business solution that is quicker, easier, and more affordable to deploy than the monolithic systems of the past.
A holistic view of the business
Today's solutions provide a holistic view of the business, from financial transactions and asset management to logistics, production, and project costs. What's more, the tools that companies can use to tap into the real-time data gathered in these systems are becoming more powerful yet also more accessible and easier to use.
For that reason, forward-thinking business leaders and owners in the mid-market are increasingly looking to invest in ERP platforms that feature robust reporting and dashboard tools. These offerings can provide live sales dashboards, graphical cashflow analysis, detailed, trusted profit and loss reports, and much more – all in the cloud. They let enterprises report on data from multiple internal and/or external sources within on system and interface and make better informed decisions.
Today, it goes without saying that modern analytics or business intelligence system will be enriched with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This technology can help a system to rapidly crunch through massive real-time datasets to deliver business insights to the people who need them, when they need them.
Easy to use, yet powerful
What's more, the new generation of business intelligence tools are designed to be easy for business users to use. They can easily generate the reports and dashboards that users need, based on pre-built, fully customisable data models and analytics right out of the box. Because no coding is required, executives can get insights when they need them.
This gives executives a handle on accurate, real-time data – such as inventory movements, procurement operations, and supplier performance – so that they can respond fast to new opportunities, risks, and threats. They can make operational decisions based on accurate transactional information from their businesses, rather than waiting days or even weeks for reports.
Powerful and insightful reporting is essential in these times, and collecting, organising, and presenting accurate data is more important for businesses than ever. Simply put, when business users have up-to-date data-driven insights, they are set up to thrive in a competitive, challenging market. Behind the scenes, a cloud-based ERP platform makes it happen.