Not that long ago, the concept of “real-time data” was a dream that many companies thought would never be achievable. After all, reports were issued quarterly, “enviously up-to-date” data was received monthly—how could a complex company with numerous daily transactions even dream of seeing data as it occurred? With Sage ERP X3, the power of real-time data is yours, and you can even view your real-time data on your preferred device.
However, the phrase “With great power comes great responsibility” applies not only to comic book superheroes, but also to company superheroes (A.K.A. CEOs). Will your company use real-time data for good, and increase your company’s profits… or will you use your data for evil, and run your company to the ground?
What are the facts about real-time data?
Now, I’ve been talking about real-time data as if it’s something evil and terrible, but really, it’s not. Real-time data is actually pretty awesome. With it, you can oversee your operations in every corner of your business, and with Sage ERP X3’s global-ready business system, you can even view real-time data in every country you operate in, simultaneously.
Clearly, this is something you want, so why am I even writing this article?
I don’t want you to suffer from information overload.
The human brain is not a computer. It’s an advanced processing machine, with creative capabilities that a computer does not hold, but truthfully, when it comes to crunching massive amounts of information to recognize trends from second to second, computers do a better job.
Human brains are really good at making great decisions about what actions to take with the trends they understand. When we try to process information in a second-by-second fashion, we mistake small upsurges in activity for emerging trends….and that can lead to poor decisions.
However, real-time data is also the saving point for many companies. When you need to act on new information instantly to keep your company running, real-time data is exactly what you need.
How can real-time data help my company?
Real-time data helps in situations that require immediate attention. If you are a manufacturer, you need the agility to make instant decisions to get your product to your customers as fast as possible. For instance, if you manufacture jeans, you have orders coming in all the time. Frequently, your customers will tell you that if you can’t fulfill those orders exactly within a very short time frame, you’ll have to kill the order. To fulfill the order, you’ll need to quickly analyze the materials you have on hand in each of your manufacturing plants, as well as the labor and online machinery. You’ll need to correlate that data with the requirements for already-existing orders, and then you can use the information to decide what plants will be best suited to fulfill the order and get those jeans to your customer as fast as possible.
And you have to complete these orders all day, every day, all while customers say “I don’t care how many other orders you already have, I need my order NOW.”
When do I not need real-time data?
Typically, companies who need information on sales trends don’t require instant, real-time data. In these companies, for instance, the people who sell jeans at a retail location, daily information is more than enough data.
Don’t believe me?
In smaller situations like that, the numbers can easily get skewed. If Justin Bieber wears your jeans, teenagers will flock to your outlets to look as cool as him. You could look at the increased sales trend and say, “Oh! My sales went up! In the future, I clearly need to have 1,000 pairs of this type of jeans in stock every day, because this is clearly an emerging trend.”
But you would be wrong, because the event was an outlier.
As a retail owner, daily information would be better for you to see, because then you can correlate the data to historical trends from the past week. With daily information, you also have the chance to investigate the reason behind the spike, and you can make accurate purchasing assessments for the next few weeks.
Let’s face it: teenagers are fickle purchasers, and they won’t be interested in Bieber jeans next week, they’ll want…Selena Gomez jeans. Instead of basing your entire purchasing model on Bieber jeans, you can use daily data to inform your purchasing and sales efforts, and start marketing cool, celebrity jeans as the celebrities rise and fall in popularity.
If I don’t need real-time data, why would I want Sage ERP X3?
Short answer: Because you still need relevant, timely data to inform your business decisions. Sure, you may not need to adjust your business functioning on a second-to-second basis, but you will still need to look at accurate, up-to-date data whenever you have a minute to spare. With real-time data collection, your system will have all the information you need to grow your business as soon as you’re ready to look at it.
Photo courtesy of Marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net