In 2020, Slow and Steady Simply Won’t Cut It.
We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare, with his superior speed, starts off the race with a huge lead. He becomes overconfident and decides he can take a nap before crossing the finish line. The tortoise slowly and steadily catches up and surpasses his opponent to emerge victorious.
Traditionally speaking, they say the moral of the story is “slow and steady wins the race.” In today’s business climate however, both animals would likely be in trouble. Aesop’s fables long predated the age of cloud computing and data-driven insight.
Reconsider the story of the tortoise and the hare in 2020, and the lesson might look more like this: be fast and don’t fall asleep at the wheel.
Perhaps nowhere is this more applicable than the world of data-driven insights. Speed to insight, particularly in the ever-volatile COVID era, has become more essential than ever. 2020 has shown us that the markets and the logistical challenges of doing business can all change at the drop of a hat.
You simply can’t be slow to figure out what’s going on anymore. And you certainly can’t afford to take your eye off a ball that’s constantly moving. Not having a visibility strategy is the modern equivalent to napping in the middle of a race.
So, what’s the solution? In short, you need to be able to report on your company’s data as quickly as possible, find the critical insights, make the recommendations, and then rinse and repeat over and over.
The problem is that without the proper systems and procedures in place, this whole process is unbearably complex and burdensome. Many teams are still spending the majority of their time just gathering and reporting on the data. Better systems are needed if headway is to be made on analysis and insights.
Our Catalyst software has empowered our clients to make fast and consistent insights, analysis and rolling forecasting a reality. By removing the heavy lifting in the journey from data to insight, there is much more bandwidth for proactive moves. And these days, being proactive is more important than ever. Here are four ways Catalyst can help transform your data into insight that helps you drive change, faster than ever before:
1. Catalyst brings all of your data sources into one easily accessible place
Catalyst is, first and foremost, a cloud-based analysis and reporting solution that you can easily link up with all your data sources, including multiple ERPs, retailer POS data, shipment and inventory information, syndicated data and more. Everything is in one consolidated location where it can be aggregated, sliced, diced and drilled into, allowing you to analyze any and every aspect of your business.
The beauty of the software is in its ease of use. If you’re even a little comfortable in Excel and you can use the internet, you’ll be more than at home with Catalyst. This allows it to be easily used across the entire organization – from the office of finance, to operations, to the sales team.
2. Catalyst makes difficult analysis repeatable and easily accessible.
One of the things that makes Catalyst so powerful is its ability to analyze data that is far too big and complex for Excel. Complex analyses like rate-volume-mix reporting, SKU and customer profitability analysis, and point-of-sale analysis are typically one-time exercises – often done with the assistance of an expensive third party – because the data is too big and too complex to analyze in Excel.
With Catalyst, these are simple tasks that can be pulled together in a matter of minutes. You can see what is happening with your business in real time at a regular cadence and troubleshoot issues before they cost you money. Furthermore, Catalyst comes with a powerful visualization suite, allowing you to bring your analysis to life with KPI-driven dashboards.
3. Catalyst makes reporting dead simple.
Reporting can be a huge pain, especially if you’re relying heavily on Excel. Catalyst changes all that. Many of the reports you need will come ready to go, out of the box. Others can be built in minutes with our report builder & saved for future use. We want Catalyst to get you the reports you need with one click. Or better yet, subscribe to any report, in any format you need, and have it delivered right to your inbox.
And the best part? No more manual tie outs or tapping multiple sources and then trying to tie it all together in Excel – it’s all in one spot and accurate down to the original transaction-level records.
4. Catalyst empowers you with really fast and simple forecasting tools..
Once you have the insights, the next step is to turn them into action. Catalyst’s forecasting tools allow you to quickly and easily make adjustments based on the latest intelligence, so you can get a clear view of the path ahead.
Our forecasting tools let you work from the top down or the bottom up. Want the latest “boots-on-the-ground” intelligence from sales? Your team can easily input the latest projections right in the tool – no more need to merge Excel spreadsheets, you get all that time back. Want to go top-down using your own insights? You can do that too. Speed and flexibility turn forecasting with Catalyst into a much less burdensome process, often reducing the time investment by 50% or more.
Through this process, you and your team begin to create a powerful feedback loop where you’re continuously forecasting where the business will go, seeing the results and making adjustments. It creates a deeper level of engagement and awareness, ultimately allowing you to evolve the business faster and see better and better results over time.
Slow and steady may have worked since the days of Aesop, but when it comes to doing business in 2020 and beyond, slow simply won’t cut it anymore. You need to transform data into insight quickly and turn it into action. When it comes to learning faster, adapting quicker and accelerating your overall growth, Catalyst is laser-focused on helping you succeed.
Want to see Catalyst in action? On October 29th, we’ll be hosting an exclusive webinar where we’ll show you A Day in the Life of a finance team using Catalyst. See real world examples of everything from this week’s blog!
FP&A with Catalyst: A Day in the Life
October 29th | 1:00PM CDT