Analysis vs. Instant Insights
Our mission at Thesis Technologies is to “help you get your systems right.” One of the clear signs of right systems is “Instant Insights”, which can be defined as getting a data driven answer when you need it without effort. The opposite of Instant Insights is a time-consuming analysis project used to find answers that are not readily available.
Analysis projects can create problems. They can take too much time to complete and they sometimes do not get done at all. People are busy. When effort is required to gain new business insights, these important special projects can fall by the wayside. Analysis also tends to deliver one-off results which need to be repeated or updated each time a new month rolls around or the subject of the analysis persists over time.
A good analogy of Analysis vs. Instant Insights can be found in the cockpit of an airplane. Obviously if you are piloting an airplane you need insights and you need them now. You need airspeed, altitude, attitude, vertical speed and more. A pilot needs this data available continuously and there is not a lot of time for calculations or analysis. Running a business may not be quite this immediate, but the more instant insights that you have available to you the better you can run your business.
What is required to make this happen? Here are a few key factors that can enable Instant Insights in your business:
Access to Data
Business insights are often delivered through tools such as Power BI. For this type of tool to work, data needs to be open and accessible. Modern systems like Dynamics 365 CRM and Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP provide an open architecture that is perfect for developing real time data visualizations and reports. When data is not as accessible as it should be, we can often use other tools such as Power Automate and SQL Azure databases to transform system data into something that is more useful for reporting. This type of approach is often used with QuickBooks data or data from older legacy systems.
When the necessary business data is accessible to us, we then need to design an effective way to deliver it to the people that need it. Business insights can be delivered using dashboards, reports, real time alerts, or other methods. One of our favorite processes at Thesis Technologies is to help a client work through the process of dashboard design. This is fun because it requires an interesting discussion of the client’s business which then turns into a creative process of design, evaluation, fine-tuning and implementation. This type of design process is critical for creating Instant Insights in your business. It takes some thought and planning to make it happen.
Because a business and the environment it operates in is constantly changing, flexibility in business systems is a must. Today’s required insights will be different than those required tomorrow. We need to be able to quickly adjust and modify the data visualizations and reports we are using. We love to work with Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform tools from Microsoft because of their open architecture and flexibility. This flexibility keeps your business insights relevant as new ideas or changing circumstances require adjustments in how you assess and run your business.
The best business insights usually come from the people on the front lines. The best way to capture and utilize this front-line knowledge is to empower your team and give them the tools and training to create their own Instant Insights. This kind of decentralized thinking has been a Microsoft hallmark for years starting with Excel and now continuing with Power BI and other tools available to everyone. No single person can design the perfect dashboard that delivers a perfect set of business insights. An empowered team will take this effort to a whole new level.
Instant Insights make a difference in your business by providing key information to the right people at the right time. Instant Insights result in faster and better decisions and actions as leaders navigate through the daily challenges of running their business.