In yesterday’s post, where I responded to the smart alecks, I noted that, once dashboards are destroyed and report writers are razed, there was about a half-dozen next logical steps that could be taken to improve today’s spend analysis solutions, even if that solution was BIQ.
Should cost modelling, award optimization based on historical data and business rules, and federation across related data sets for deeper dives are pretty obvious. Are there somewhat less obvious advancements we should also be thinking of?
Of course. One rung up the ladder, three of them are:
Once you have should-cost modelling, the next logical step is predictive modelling. Use historical data to extract pricing trends and predict likely future prices for the commodity. Use this to determine not only the best time to (re) source the category as well as using deep-dive analysis to determine the best strategy.
Optimize Supplier Relationships
Once you have optimized all of the awards based on historical data and business rules, you also have the optimal allocation by supplier. Once you have the optimized set of awards for each supplier, you can optimize the re-order schedule, shipping arrangements, and even production and sourcing schedules on behalf of the suppliers and take costs out one level down in the supplier chain. Helping your suppliers help you goes a long way to building good supplier relationships and increasing supplier performance.
Simultaneous Drill Across Multiple Data Sets
Once you have true federation, you want to split the screen and update the views to only contain the relevant data in each data set as you drill down through the data. Going back to our previous example, you start in the Payment cube drilling into the goods receipts associated with the wonky widgets, then switch to the Order History cube to find the initial requisitions, but when you drill on the user in the second cube, the first cube is updated to contain only those goods receipts associated with the user. The user can drill through either cube to find the data she wants, whichever is easiest, and both cubes update. She doesn’t have to go back and forth.
These are just a few more things that can be done, and all would simplify the life of an analyst. More to come at a later time but first, this time I’m going to insist that you tell me what you would do. :-;