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Rome and Data Can't Be Built in a Day

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Data holds the title of the 'most important resource' and its position is getting stronger by the day. Many companies have realized the importance of data and its impact on corporate decisions, strategy and design. Even decisions on technology and tools are based on what companies want from their data.

The application of Big Data with advanced analytics helps in identifying emerging patterns and correlations that offer actionable information and insights, vital to policymakers and strategists. Every aspect of commercial and sociopolitical environments are governed by data. Hence the importance of data-based analytics and models cannot be undermined. 
Let us explore some of the areas, where data analytics can make a huge impact in procurement

Opportunity identification for enhanced savings and efficiencies:

Category managers are always looking for opportunities that help them optimize their operations. An analysis of Spend and transaction data reveals information and spend patterns which present opportunities for optimizing the supplier base. It also provides insights with regard to volume, spend and helps in the development of supplier models. 
Secondly, it helps in improving the spend-under management wherein items that were outside the procurement focus can be identified and specific interventions can be carried out. 

Designing the Buy-Pay channel:
Data analysis and technology can rapidly cut down order process time and cost, this feature alone is bound to bring about a higher user satisfaction and experience. The availability of relevant data also facilitates continuous improvements to the channel thereby optimizing performance. 

Ensuring compliance:
The right set of Data helps in identifying buying patterns and ensures that the purchase is made at the right prices, with the right suppliers that have been contracted. This avoids the savings leakage as well as third-party risks. 
Suppliers or products can also be categorized and flagged based on regulations, preventing penalties and adverse actions. Having a clear view based on the analysis of the in-house data, one can improve demand management; control unplanned spends and manage an effective working capital.

Master data of supplier and item:
Cleaner data helps to avoid redundant data and avoids duplicate records. The data, when mapped with the tables, requires less time for searching and reduces the cost of maintaining records.

Given these benefits, it is crucial that a clean structured data be maintained by organizations- which poses a challenge in itself. Often the discussion with some of our colleagues and clients highlight that this is not usually the case - either the data is not available or useful enough to determine the opportunity to transform. 

In my view, the sky is the limit when it comes to maintaining a clean database. The best way is to continuously look for ways your current database can be enriched. Tools or third-party experts can create a better ecosystem for the data, and also improve the overall procurement strategy. 

The importance of having relevant and useful data cannot be emphasized enough and the process of maintaining a clean database does not happen overnight. At the end of the day, the business will need relevant data that will enable and empower business analytics. The time is right to embark on a plan, to ensure the availability of structured and meaningful data. Data, like anything else, takes time to build, let us not forget that neither Rome nor data can be built in a day. 

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