And before we go any further, Excel DOES NOT Count!
Backing up, a recent article over on SupplyManagement.com on intelligent decisions notes that BP has set up a market intelligence team to make faster and better decisions and that, to date, it has helped them to save 20M while avoiding unnecessary expenditures of an additional 690M. And I have to admit that’s eye-catching. But just setting up a team isn’t going to get you that level of savings. You’re going to have to train them and give them the tools and resources they need. While one of those resources will be access to market data feeds and analysis channels, another will be a real data analysis tool.
The reality is that your team won’t be able to amalgamate and normalize all of the data sources, identify trends, and develop appropriate predictive models if they don’t have the right tool for the job. This is a significant analysis and modelling exercise, one that spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel are not equipped to handle. Just like a carpenter needs a hammer and a nail to attach two boards, an analyst needs the right software tool to properly combine and trend two distinct data feeds. Don’t forget that.