Real-time data delivers all of the information you need to you as soon as it is collected. Once you’ve collected this data you can plug it directly into your reporting to create up-to-date financial information that you can use to improve your business.
There are plenty of advantages that come with using real-time data and if your business is still working with data that was collected up to 90 days ago, you are potentially setting yourself up for some major roadblocks.
If you need more convincing, here are the five massive advantages of real-time data:
Make Decisions Faster
As a small business, you’ve probably been in plenty of situations that require a quick decision. Not only do you have to be quick on your feet, but you likely require up-to-date numbers and data to help you make the right decisions. It can be frustrating to make these decisions without sound financial numbers to support your choices.
If you are using real-time data, you can be sure the information you have is as close to current as possible. This will result in:
- Better decisions.
- A healthier, more stable company.
- A confidence boost on your end.
- Example: You have an investor you’d like to partner with and they are interested in your cash flow, but they want the most recent numbers. With real-time data, you can give them the data they’ve requested, hopefully speeding up the investment process.
See Problems Sooner
When you are not using real-time data, you may be waiting 90 days for important data to populate and give you a much-needed snapshot of your business. Not only does this slow down your decision-making process but it also gives minor problems time to develop and grow into larger issues.
When you are using real-time data, you will be able to spot the indicators of a problem, like incorrect data or overspending, and make timely adjustments to keep the issues at bay. It will save you the hassle of solving a larger problem as opposed to a minor issue.
- Example: Accounts receivable is the perfect example of data that is best served in real-time. Being able to see the rolling number of unpaid invoices on a recurring basis allows you to stay on top of incoming cash and note where a payment may have been missed.
Track Performance Easier
One of the primary reasons you are tracking all of this data is to help you drive business and reach your goals. Your key performance indicators (KPI’s) are the exact pieces of information you need however, they don’t do much good if you can’t see them as they happen. Real-time KPI metrics allow you to:
- Pivot your course of action.
- Make adjustments.
- Track performance while everything is happening.
It’ll save you time and prevent you from making recurring mistakes.
Example: A common KPI is return on ad spend, and there is a massive benefit to collecting this data in real-time. Tracking this every day/week allows you to stop marketing campaigns that aren’t profitable while increasing the budget on those yielding a positive return.
Improve Customer Experience
Customer experience is a top priority. You want to be efficient and effective when working with customers. Therefore seeing things like customer wait times, conversion rates, engagement, and net promoter scores in real-time allows you to tweak and improve the customer experience before you receive an overload of complaints.
- Example: When you launch a new product or service you will typically see an increase in support tickets. These show common questions and issues your customers are experiencing. If you are receiving these in real-time you can quickly fix problems and find more efficient ways to explain process/expectations. All of this builds up to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Become More Profitable
Who doesn’t love more profit? If you are doing it right, you are using your reports to drive your profitability. All of these reports are populated with, you got it, financial data.
When you use real-time data, you can confidently rely on things like competitor pricing data, cash flow forecasts, and cash-on-hand to be up-to-date and use them to improve your profitability.
- Example: When reports like forecasts and cash-on-hand are up-to-date you can see where you have a surplus of money. From there you can redirect spending, better negotiate/bulk buy materials for your products, pay annually for services (instead of monthly) to save money.
Partner with Adian for Real-Time Financials
Real-time data brings plenty of advantages to your business. Not only is it easier, but it also allows you to make decisions faster, see problems sooner, track performance easier, improve customer experience, and become more profitable.
If you aren’t already relying on real-time data, you should consider it. Adian is an excellent choice for a partner if you want the right data quickly. We offer small business accounting services to help you take your business to the next level.