Analytic Platforms to Get the Sales Metrics You Need

My Post - 2020-01-14T155947.143.pngDo you have an accurate view of how sales representatives spend their time?

Or an accurate depiction of prospect and customer engagement rates by platform or channel? Are you aware of how your key performance metrics fluctuate over time? How are you currently making vital business decisions? If you can’t answer any or even some of those questions, this article was written for you. At the end of the day, you can’t report on what you don’t measure. And worse, you can’t make the most accurate business decisions without proper data.

Sales metrics are how businesses and employees track sales performance. Most sales metrics are measurable and can be calculated over days, weeks, months, quarters, or years. They are an extremely important indicator of overall company performance as businesses use sales metrics to analyze whether the goals they set aligned with their business outcomes. For example, if a business notices their revenue is dropping every quarter, they’d want to identify what tactics they can change to remedy the decline in sales.

Sales analytics platforms help businesses make more informed decisions throughout the sales process. Here are 16 platforms that enable companies to get the sales metrics they need to make better business decisions.

Clari

Clari is a Revenue Operations Platform that enables go-to-market teams to convert more leads into prospects, drive revenue, and produce accurate forecast reporting. Clari’s customers can use AI to gain better visibility into engagement campaigns and churn indicators. They’ll also be able to detect new risks and opportunities in the market.

Sisense

Sisense is a cloud-native data and analytics platform that helps organizations that are challenged with large data sets and dispersed data systems. Developers, data engineers, and business analysts use Sisense to bridge the gap between platforms and simplify complicated data sets.

TIBCO Spotfire

TIBCO Spotfire is a self-service data and analytics platform that enables users to combine data and visualize it in one dashboard. Users from a variety of industries use Spotfire to generate business insights and make informed decisions, faster.

Alteryx Analytics

Alteryx Analytics is a self-service data analytics platform businesses deploy to gain deeper insights and create a repeatable workflow to share amongst teams.

Tableau Desktop

Tableau is a business intelligence software that enables businesses to understand their data by uniting hundreds of data sources. The software gives companies the power to see trends, or clusters of data and uncover new opportunities in the market.

GoodData

GoodData is a platform that helps organizations make more data-driven decisions. Over 80,000 businesses trust GoodData to increase efficiency, gather real-time insights, and import BI analytics in the cloud.

Birst Bi

Birst is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) integrated business intelligence platform. It blends all necessary data inputs to create, redistribute, and manage enterprise reporting, dashboard, and data solutions.

MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy is a mobility platform that “empowers organizations to deliver trusted insights and make every moment a business breakthrough.” Its enterprise data and analytics platform unifies data in one location, making it available to the entire team with a click of a button.

ClearStory Data

Clearstory Data is “transforming Enterprise-scale Business Analytics via machine-learning and Artificial Intelligence.” They give their users the power to centralize disparate data to accelerate insights and make the most business impact.

Oracle Business Intelligence

Oracle’s mission is to empower every business, despite industry or size, to have access to its data and make better business decisions. The Oracle Business Intelligence platform enables users to create, manage, and disseminate interactive reports and dashboards.

Salesforce Einstein Analytics

Salesforce Einstein Analytics is a cloud analytics platform where users can build custom dashboards that report on descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. Users can collaborate and analyze data directly in Salesforce’s CRM. As Salesforce is committed to continuously updating the customer experience, Einstein Analytics undergoes three upgrades a year.

Qlik Sense Enterprise

The Qlik Sense Enterprise platform is an end-to-end data management and analytics platform built to revolutionize every function within an organization. By employing the Qlik Sense Enterprise platform, users within a company have the power to be more data-driven and make better business decisions.

SAS Office Analytics

SAS Office Analytics is a self-service Business Intelligence platform that eliminates data analysis in static spreadsheets and enables users to tell better business stories.

Vecta

Vecta is a sales analytics and CRM platform that aids manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers to boost their sales by up to 60%. The platform uses customers’ existing data to discover new opportunities and send notifications to users’ sales teams. – Read more

Migrating To The Cloud? Don’t Let Your Guard Down

My Post (97).pngThe cloud. Soft. Cushiony. Far up in the sky. The cloud beckons us to store, manage and secure our data and applications, freeing us to go on with our work with peace of mind. As a businessperson, I know how comforting the cloud can be, but as an information security professional, I know that a cloud can still produce a storm, and that migrating to the cloud doesn’t necessarily mean the end of thinking about security.

Why Cloud?

According to a 2018 cloud computing study by IDG, about three-quarters of surveyed organizations had at least some cloud presence. Most use about a 50/50 mix of cloud services and local infrastructure, but the trend is skewing rapidly toward cloud — with many looking to eventually transition their systems entirely. So, why this massive stampede to the cloud?

Despite rapid miniaturization and advances in computer processing, data centers and server farms take up a large proportion of corporate real estate, personnel and expenditures. IT departments require dedicated spaces, controlled climates, loads of power, constant monitoring, frequent refits, maintenance and a highly trained support staff. In addition, the rise in both the frequency and sophistication of hacking threats has made information security an expensive but compulsory activity requiring expert professionals.

The emergence of high-speed, high-bandwidth, reliable telecommunications over the past decade, however, has made the cloud a reality, allowing organizations to deal with their computing needs as outsourced services, including software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). The “as a service” model is growing and extending to ever more specific disciplines.

The advantage of cloud computing to a business, particularly a smaller one, is that the administration and management of computing resources — including the specialized area of information security — is put in the hands of experts. This classic division of labor allows everyone to increase productivity in their specialties.

But, as always, there is no free lunch. There are trade-offs that must be considered and well understood, especially when considering migration from a data center to a cloud. Some of these trade-offs center around the critical matter of security.

Cross-Platform Cloud Security

The cloud is not a mystical, ephemeral land in another dimension. It’s composed of hardware, software and people, just as it would be if it were on an organization’s own campus. It is thus subject to the same threats and vulnerabilities as any other system. Breaches can and do happen in the cloud.

However, I believe that the real challenge lies in managing security within a hybrid cloud/local scheme as well as across multiple clouds. If not approached properly, having this mixed arrangement can actually lead to a weakened security posture. In order to operate efficiently, cloud service providers rely on the dynamic sharing of computing resources. This is one of the aspects of cloud computing that makes it so cost effective compared to running one’s own data center, but it complicates security across domains.

Security policies are still catching up with the new paradigm of having data and applications spread among multiple platforms. One of the cardinal tenets of information security is the principle of segmentation, which is violated by the very nature of cloud computing. Not all clouds universally support the same tools, and conversely, not all tools work seamlessly across clouds or between the clouds and local systems. The upshot of all this is that migration from a local platform to a cloud requires careful planning and a coherent strategy.

Taking The Plunge

There are a few steps that should be taken prior to initiating migration to the cloud that go a long way to saving some security headaches down the road. Even if the migration is being managed by an outside party, it’s good to have these considerations in mind before and during the process.

1. Get an assessment, preferably an outside view, of your current information security posture as it stands with your current infrastructure. There are professional cybersecurity companies that specialize in doing this. If there are any standing vulnerabilities, you want them addressed prior to migration so you have a solid baseline posture from which to begin. – Read more

Key Drivers for Accounts Payable Automation in the Cloud

My Post (94).pngBack office functions such as Accounts Payable (AP) today too want anytime, anywhere access to information, similar to end customers. AP teams want insights into transactions to better control the invoice processing (payment) cycle. They expect that everything they do should be able to be handled at the device level – including approving or denying any type of AP transaction. From a management perspective, finance and accounting wants to be able to validate and inspect business metrics from their device, too. But, it’s not just a desire for anytime, anywhere access internally within an organisation – AP teams also want their suppliers and vendors to engage and monitor transactions and their information through self-service supplier portals. Vendors and suppliers want the convenience and transparency a self-service portal brings, as well.

How can all this be achieved? AP automation in the cloud! According to IDC, the split between on-premises/other software and public cloud software is expected to change from 65.9% and 34.1% in 2017 to 50.5% and 49.5% in 2022, as the demand for cloud-based financial applications software continues to outpace that for on-premises/other software solutions. Some of the drivers for this rush to the cloud, are exactly that: Speed. Faster implementation. Faster ROI. But also, the lower cost of entry (subscription-based), scalability to adapt to requirements, less dependence on IT, 24/7 availability and of course mobile access.

In addition to the above-mentioned strategic advantages, cloud-based AP automation can deliver benefits such as less reliance on IT, easier e-invoicing implementation, greater transparency and mobility, integration with any ERP and more. – Read more