Not all data analytics systems are created equal. But sometimes it’s not easy to find the time or the resources to step back and evaluate what is and isn’t working anymore. In the end, it’s always better to spend the time proactively rather than reactively when you’ve outgrown your current system. While it would be nice to have a one-size-fits-all approach to finding a system that works for you, here are five ways to tell if it’s time to break up with your current system and find one that better suits your needs.
Ask yourself: How much has this system improved my day-to-day life? In terms of your financial reporting, you shouldn’t have to dig too deep to get the metrics you need. When looking at your goals, you should easily be able to tell by what percent you are increasing your profits. And when it comes to your month-end close, your system should reduce the amount of time you spend on reporting, whether that’s cutting it down from months to weeks, weeks to days, or days to hours.
At its very core, any system that is put in place should be user friendly, regardless of the tech-saviness of your team. While there will inevitably be a learning curve with any new system or employee, the system should still be well designed from a technical perspective so that anyone can learn it. The steps needed to learn the new system should be well documented for ease of training.
Bad data has become the “fake news” of the financial world. The accuracy of your data isn’t solely the result of a singular function but rather the ability of all involved parties to report and analyze your data using one easy-to-use system. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to data accuracy, your system should provide clarity, not confusion, to help lead you to one version of the truth.
If you are constantly having to pay someone to maintain your system, it may be time to take your services elsewhere. User adoption shouldn’t be the biggest expense of taking on a new system and should improve the process rather than hamper it. If the system itself isn’t self-sufficient after the initial launch, consider one that will grow as your company expands instead of having to go back and make updates as your needs increase.
A software company is only as good as the staff that supports it. Your vendor should be interested in helping you create a future roadmap to show you what the tool is capable of in terms of updates and mobility, as well as the relevant change it will bring to your organization. Timeline and scope should be made transparent, in addition to crafting a clear wish list of everything you want and didn’t know you wanted. In short, your software and its company shouldn’t be making more work for you.