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White Paper

Best Practices for Optimizing Information

In order to make wise decisions and build competitive advantage, organizations of all kinds need actionable information - that is, data placed in context so it can support decision-making.

Research Perspective

Five Costs and Perils of Spreadsheets for Business Analytics

Managing performance effectively requires that a company be able to provide executives, managers and employees with accurate, timely information and make it possible for them to work interactively with that information – to see the numbers behind the numbers.

Research Perspective

Embracing Data Preparation

Data is a critical asset for business, but many business professionals have difficulty in getting to the data they need in a timely fashion. The inability to access data and prepare it for effective business use can impede efficiency in making decisions, acting on them, and maintaining compliance with regulations.

Research Perspective

Key Indicators and Data Enable Performance Management

Performance management consists of the strategy, methodologies and processes to manage the performance of an organization and its business network to achieve an agreed-upon set of goals and objectives.

Research Perspective

Data Preparation: An Enterprise Imperative

Data is fuel for today’s businesses; they cannot run without it. Like other types of fuel, it must be processed and made ready to use.

White Paper

Analytic Discovery Unlocks Information for Business

Analytic discovery technology enables exploratory analysis that spans multiple data sets of various sizes and structures. It is similar to data science in that both use computer science and statistical techniques

Research Perspective

The Art of the Possible: The Customer Service Journey

Profitable long-term relationships with customers depend on providing superior customer service; which is to a large extent shaped by how companies engage with customers throughout the customer journey. However; for many years the goal of both the d

Research Perspective

Achieving State-of-the-Art Finance Analytics

By itself data isn't useful for business. It requires analytics to transform data into actionable information. Analytics of one sort or another has long been a core competence of finance departments; applied to balance sheets; income statements or c

White Paper

Data Preparation Adds Value to Big Data

"Data is an essential asset of all organizations. Its use impacts every aspect of a business not least of all its profitability. Today's data comes from an array of often incompatible sources including disparate in-house systems cloud-based enviro...

White Paper

Advanced Analytics Enhances Business Intelligence

Today the need to process and analyze the ever larger volumes of data being generated is causing many businesses to consider expanding the capabilities of their business intelligence (BI) systems.

Research Perspective

Innovation Sharpens the Customer Focus

Customer behavior has changed. Customers today use significantly more channels of communication to interact with companies. When they shop; the convenience of online access has led them to be more demanding because they can go elsewhere with a few c

White Paper

Beyond Keeping the Lights On

CIOs and senior IT leaders such as directors of global applications and enterprise architects constantly face the challenge of reducing technology costs while continuing to deliver consistent value to the business. The IT organization must always be seeking opportunities to automate the infrastructure and processes used throughout the enterprise to improve efficiency.

Research Perspective

Total Talent Acquisition for Today’s Job Market

Even when it is handled well, talent acquisition is an increasingly costly process in today’s job market. Hiring the wrong people or in the wrong positions wastes time, money and effort. The intense competition for scarce talent makes mistakes more damaging – you may not get a second chance to hire the right person.

Research Perspective

Developing Best Practices in Sales Forecasting

"The purpose of sales forecasting is to anticipate and facilitate sales activities and help representatives identify opportunities, reach quotas and achieve the maximum potential of their accounts and territories. We find that sales forecasting is of,,,,,,,

Research Perspective

Five Best Practices for Sales Planning

"Launching and running a sales program without careful planning is a recipe for failure. Effectiveness in sales starts with planning. To be successful, planning must involve a range of stakeholders from various roles, use a systematic process, incorp,,,,,

White Paper

Human Capital Analytics Drives Strategic Business Decisions

In today’s intensely competitive markets, managers can’t rely on decisions based completely on gut feelings without running the risk of making wrong decisions that are costly in terms of both money and expertise. Instead they need high-quality information about their workforces that guides them in recruiting and retaining the best people and maximizing the productivity of all their employees.

Research Perspective

Analytics Transforms Customer Interactions

Our benchmark research on next-generation customer engagement shows that customers interact with companies through as many as 17 communication channels, most of which are electronic. These interactions produce large volumes of speech and text data. Until recently it required extensive manual effort to extract information and insights from this mass of data.

Research Perspective

Fast-Tracking the Financial Close

It’s generally accepted that companies should be able to close their books within a week of the period end, whether monthly, quarterly or semiannually. Yet our recent benchmark research shows that only half of participating organizations accomplish this within five or six business days in their monthly close; even fewer – just 38 percent – can do it for their quarterly or semiannual close.

Research Perspective

The Fast Close Imperative

Many CFOs and controllers find themselves in a bind. They look for ways to give the finance department a more strategic role in their company, yet they cannot provide the resources finance would need to be able to handle core functions quickly and efficiently. Our benchmark research “Trends in Developing the Fast, Clean Close” found that some companies are actually taking longer to close than they did at the time of our previous research on this topic.

Research Perspective

Performance Management Isn’t Only for Executives

Performance management is a strategy and a set of methodologies and processes for managing the performance of the organization and its business network; its purpose is to achieve a common set of goals and objectives. At its core, then, performance management is about aligning day-to-day processes and activities with organizational strategy. This makes it of obvious value to savvy executives and finance professionals: It communicates to all stakeholders an agreed-upon strategy and helps align the organization around it.

Research Perspective

Healthcare Performance Management Isn’t Only for Executives

Healthcare performance management is a strategy and a set of methodologies and processes for managing the performance of the organization and its doctors, nurses, caregivers and provider network; its purpose is to achieve a common set of patient and business outcomes. Functionally, then, performance management is about aligning day-to-day processes and activities with the goals and objectives of the healthcare organization.

Research Perspective

Gaining an Edge in Manufacturing with Business Analytics

Unfortunately, they’re unlikely to be able to do so by relying on the spreadsheets that our benchmark research into analytics in manufacturing finds are being used in almost two-thirds of organizations (63%). A substantial majority (92%) use them universally or regularly, yet the research found that doing so leads to analytics that take longer to generate and are less accurate.

Research Perspective

Gaining an Edge in Banking with Business Analytics

Business analytics today involves far more than reports and spreadsheets. But despite significant investments in business intelligence (BI) software, many midsize banks continue to operate with a limited set of analytic capabilities, focused largely on querying and reporting.

Research Perspective

Performance Management in Financial Services Isn’t Only for Executives

Performance management is a strategy and a set of methodologies and processes that can be used for managing performance in financial services organizations. Its purpose is to achieve a common set of goals and objectives in the most efficient manner. Functionally, performance management is about aligning day-to-day processes and activities

White Paper

Five Ways to Improve the Employee Experience

The employee experience is comprised of the interactions that employees have with their organization over the duration of their employment. Innovative organizations are focusing on employee experience management to help all employees excel at their

White Paper

Analytics Is Critical to Effective Performance Management

In order for an organization to run efficiently and effectively it must actively manage its performance. Corporations, small businesses, government entities and nonprofits all must be able to set objectives, plan and budget, and review and evaluate their operations in a timely fashion to address

White Paper

Modernizing Compensation Management

Human capital is a business’s most important asset. Most of the time it also is the largest operating expense, and thus can have a major impact on profitability and overall success. To keep employees engaged and productive, companies must of course compensate them appropriately – while not overpaying them and running the risk of eroding the bottom line.

White Paper

Insights on Contact Center Agent Productivity

Benchmark research carried out by Ventana Research shows that contact center executives and managers are under pressure to provide the best possible customer service while staying within tight operational budgets. At the same time centers must handle increased volumes of inbound calls and respond to other types of interactions such as email messages and chat sessions.

White Paper

Bringing Dashboards to Life

Dashboards combine and display information from various parts of an organization to create views of its overall status or of a particular function. For example, a dashboard of sales performance might include information about sales closed, leads generated, the pipeline of opportunities and sales performance by territory or individual. A well-designed dashboard, one that uses all relevant data and presents it in a useful, easily consumable way, is a powerful management tool.

eBook

Human Capital Management: A New User Experience

Human capital management is key for human resources and the business, enabling workers, managers and management to perform activities and tasks related to their employment and opportunities in the organization. Unfortunately, most HCM applications currently in use force users to adapt to their antiquated designs and offer configuration and ease-of-use challenges for workers or managers.

eBook

Workforce Management in the Public Sector

Managing time and attendance is a central task of workforce management, for public sector organizations as well as private companies. To maximize efficiency and ensure that workers are on hand as needed, organizations should automate time and attendance to be able to manage absences and time off centrally. Doing so also can enhance employee satisfaction and regulatory compliance and reduce costly errors.

Research Perspective

Achieving a Shorter Close

Completing the accounting close quickly has been a longstanding objective for finance departments. Among those participants in our benchmark research whose departments take more than a business week to close, most (69%) said they want to shorten the process so they can provide financial data sooner to executives and managers. A faster close, of course, would enable them to respond more rapidly to changing business and economic conditions.

Research Perspective

Sales Planning Improves Sales Performance Management

Success in business is measured by what’s accomplished, and effective planning improves an organization’s ability to consistently achieve its objectives. When it comes to sales, many organizations are slow to recognize how ineffectual their sales-planning process is and how directly that is linked to sales performance.

Research Perspective

Three Reasons Why Visual Discovery Falls Short

Visual discovery enables organizations to visualize large volumes of data to find areas of opportunity and challenge. It provides a more intuitive representation of data than numbers in rows and columns. Visual discovery thus is an important addition to the business analytics toolbox.

Research Perspective

Evaluation Criteria for Enterprise Geocoding

The process of geocoding increases the quality of business information by augmenting geographic references to fully support operations and decision-making. Without the dimension added by geocoding, operational risk increases, business cycles are wasted, customer satisfaction declines and the likelihood of decisions that could be flawed increases.

eBook

Establishing Cybersecurity Intelligence

Organizations are under attack, and that attack may be coming from unanticipated directions. The least recognized yet potentially greatest risk to your operation is a security breach of your IT assets. Every piece of hardware and version of software that is not maintained regularly could be a gateway for unauthorized access. What's needed is cybersecurity intelligence, a new discipline designed to protect IT assets from attacks.

eBook

Supercharging Sales Performance

In today's competitive markets sales organizations have to be able ot take advantage of opportunities immediately. The key to doing so is the sales forecast: It provides a roadmap to optimal execution and achieving sales targets. But forecasts are only as good as the analytics they're based on. Download the ebook and explore the importance of strong sales ananlytics, learn best practices and methods for improving your sales analytics, discover ways technology can improve your businesses sales forecasts.

eBook

Customer Engagement in the Digital Age

For companies seeking to improve customer engagement, our research finds that the top two priorities are to improve customer service and contact center performance. This is notably the case for companies with large customer bases - in financial services and telecommunications, for example. But the changing nature of customers' expectations, particularly the increasing number of digital communication channels they use, makes doing so challenging.

Infographic

Cloud-Based Dashboards Speed Data Preparation

Reliance on spreadsheets for analytics has created a drain on productivity. Often error-prone, spreadsheets introduce numerous problems ; that keep businesses from getting the most out of their analytics, ultimately impacting performance and increasing costs. Take a look at the infographic below to see exactly how it happens, and what can be done fix it.

Infographic

Cloud-Based Dashboards Mean Better Decisions

The move to the cloud has ushered in a revolution in data processing and access. What used to be locked behind IT is now available to business users, empowering decision making and reducing the time before action. Take a look at the infographic below to see exactly how cloud-based dashboards can improve business performance.

Infographic

Customer Engagement in the Digital Age

With the growth of communication channel, providing a consistent customer experience is a challenge, let alone providing a superior one. But increasingly, businesses struggle to maintain all channels and continue to delight customers. Take a look at the infographic below to see how digital technologies have changed customer engagement, and ways that businesses can capitalize on it.

Infographic

Business Benefits of Customer Analytics

While the customer experience has become a main way businesses compete, understanding how good that experience is has lagged. Often relying on the out of the box metrics of CRMs, businesses struggle to truly understand their customer's experience, find pain points, and take the necessary steps to correct it. Take a look at the infographic below to see the advantages that dedicated customer analytics provides to businesses.

eBook

Analytics-Driven Quality Management

In many companies, the agent quality monitoring process has remained the same for years: Managers typically select a small, random set of call recordings and complete an assessment from as they listen to them. This provides only a limited snapshot of agent performance, one that can easily be skewed depending on the calls selected.

Research Perspective

Strategic Planning for Modern Marketers

Customers have conversations across the organization. They interact with people in Sales, Service, Support and in some cases even with an organization’s products or services via smart speakers. While our research confirms that the telephone is still the most widely supported customer-engagement channel, other forms of verbal and digital interactions are growing at a rapid pace.

White Paper

Five Keys to Choosing a Comprehensive Analytics Platform

In today’s dynamic business environment, competitive forces are putting pressure on companies to better understand their customers and how to serve them, to optimize their operations and control costs, and to rigorously address security risks and regulatory requirements.

White Paper

Calculating the Return on Better Planning

Realizing an appropriate return on capital spending is critical. Poor allocation of investment funds can impair the competitiveness and profitability of a corporation, which is why well-run organizations have a disciplined methodology for making these decisions. Using the right framework and measuring the potential return is the first step in ensuring that a company considers all relevant factors and weights them appropriately in evaluating investment opportunities.

Viewpoint

Performance Management Supports Continuous Accounting

Continuous improvement is a pillar of continuous accounting – an approach to managing finance and accounting organizations that makes improving the department’s effectiveness practical by increasing its efficiency. A business culture that has embraced and internalized continuous improvement sets increasingly rigorous objectives, reviews performance vis-a-vis those objectives and makes addressing shortcomings a departmental priority.

Viewpoint

Robotic Process Automation Suits Finance and Accounting

Robotic process automation is a relatively new term in the software industry. It describes the use of programming or analytical algorithms to execute the most appropriate action in an automated workflow, without human intervention. Simple process automation manages workflows within a single application.

Viewpoint

Creating an Information Supply Chain

Information clearly has value. Organizations in our research reported that having the right information accessible to the right people at the right time delivers a competitive advantage, increases operational efficiencies and improves communications, among other benefits. Yet organizations often struggle with the analytical systems and processes they rely on to use information optimally.

Research Perspective

Achieving Consistent Customer Experiences

Our benchmark research into the next-generation contact center in the cloud shows that 70 percent of companies expect to rely on the quality of the customer experience to compete more effectively over the next two years, and 46 percent expect to rely on the effectiveness of their digital self-service. However, the same research shows that as of today, approximately a third (35%) of organizations don’t believe their customers are satisfied with the way their interactions are handled.

Research Perspective

The Case for Benchmarking Finance and Accounting

Business benchmarking is a decades-old practice that now is entering a new era. Providers of today’s cloud-based business systems can create process benchmarks quickly and efficiently by monitoring and measuring how customers use their service. The measurement process enables those vendors to provide to their customers ongoing assessments of how well they are executing processes compared to the best-performing companies and averages in the industry. And they can do this without ever having to handle their clients’ proprietary data.

Research Perspective

Managing Sales Performance in Smaller Organizations

Sales organizations, especially in small businesses, are under pressure to take advantage of every revenue-generating opportunity. Feeling they have to move fast, sales management personnel sometimes don’t conduct regular reviews of the incentives offered to individuals in the sales team and fail to compare incentives with how well people actually perform. This is a mistake because timely, targeted incentives are key motivators in efforts to align performance to quotas and produce desired results.

White Paper

Addressing Finance’s Data Problem

Numbers are the raw material for everything finance departments do. That’s why it’s essential that they have all the data they need and that it be of the highest quality. Without a guarantee of data availability and quality, both the integrity and the effectiveness of the finance function are threatened.

Research Perspective

Managing Compensation Effectively in Banking

Sales organizations, especially in small businesses, are under pressure to take advantage of every revenue-generating opportunity. Feeling they have to move fast, sales management personnel sometimes don’t conduct regular reviews of the incentives offered to individuals in the sales team and fail to compare incentives with how well people actually perform. This is a mistake because timely, targeted incentives are key motivators in efforts to align performance to quotas and produce desired results.

Viewpoint

Planning and Budgeting under ASC 606 and IFRS 15

New rules governing revenue recognition for contracts have gone into effect. The Financial Accounting Standards Board, which administers Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the U.S. (US-GAAP), has issued ASC 606 and the International Accounting Standards Board, which administers International Financial Reporting Standards used in most other countries, has issued IFRS 15. The new rules materially affect companies that use even moderately complex contracts in their dealings with customers, especially in the case of those that extend past one year. This includes contracts that for example are structured using tiered pricing or volume discounts, routinely involve modifications such as adding or dropping users, or allow seasonal changes to services.

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