3 Ways Decision-Making With Diverse Data Reduces Business Risk

Pamela Pierce, Product Marketing Manager

March 27, 2023

Today’s extraordinary macroeconomic shifts have introduced new risks to business. In response, most finance teams have leveled up their risk assessment and risk management practices by making better use of data from across the business.

Many teams, however, haven’t found an efficient way to involve data from beyond the business in risk management. External data can dramatically improve your risk assessments by factoring in the conditions of your partners, suppliers, competitors, customers, and more. For example, Google Search data often proved to be a better predictor of customer behavior than internal models throughout the pandemic.

It can be equally challenging to consolidate data from various corners of your own business. If you use multiple business management platforms — each with restricted access — then it’s difficult, for example, to track revenue and profit margins across all of your subsidiaries.

Right now, your businesses should be refining its processes so that it can seize growth opportunities as soon as they appear. Now is the time to significantly refine your risk management process — by consolidating data from across your entire business and combining it with external data sources to reduce blind spots and supercharge decision-making.

Tightening Risk Management With a Cloud Data Warehouse

It's one thing to recognize the value of using both internal and external data in everyday decision-making, but it’s another thing to make that happen. Data is likely plentiful at your business, but it could be stuck in systems that aren’t connected: an ERP, ecommerce platform, project management system, and spreadsheets, for example. And when these systems are connected, it’s rarely for the purposes of risk management.

CFOs are leaning into their new roles as technology champions, working with the rest of the C-suite to tackle these issues. A cloud data warehouse might be their most valuable weapon.

A data warehouse consolidates data from across your business, pulls in data from beyond your business, and can preserve data from any legacy systems — allowing you to sunset them at will. The right solution will integrate with your other systems for a seamless flow of information. Self-service analytics tools within the solution allow you to use your business’s full breadth of data resources to inform strategic decisions, plus take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for deeper insights.

Risks that you can mitigate with a cloud data warehouse include:

Risk #1: Runaway costs obscured by disconnected subsidiaries

At NetSuite, we’ve seen this issue crop up among our customers. One manufacturer, in particular, had 15 subsidiaries that each operated independently. Every reporting period, analysts had to export data and manually join it in spreadsheets and their business intelligence (BI) tools.

This slow, tedious process of aggregating and consolidating the subsidiaries’ financials made accounting painfully complicated for the parent company. Limited insight into overall financial performance made planning difficult, too. And maintaining the company’s ERP system, SQL databases, flat files, BI tools, and legacy systems was costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

Ultimately, the manufacturer consolidated its data in NetSuite Analytics Warehouse(opens in new tab) and sunsetted most of its old infrastructure. The move slashed costs by 66% and gave the entire team access to visualizations of each subsidiary’s financial and operational performance.

Risk #2: Missed sales targets due to poor channel visibility

In another scenario, an accessories retailer was growing at a rapid clip and needed to overhaul its sales channel forecasting. Its BI tool couldn’t readily aggregate and analyze data from multiple Shopify instances, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and other sources.

The retailer switched to NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, gaining the ability to easily pipe in data from each of those sources. The machine learning capabilities improved the company’s ability to anticipate customer demand and keep stores stocked with the items customers want most. The team has considered endless applications of its new data warehouse solution, including pulling in weather data to create sales forecasts for its outdoor mall kiosks.

Risk #3: Loss of customers from outdated inventory data

NetSuite customers also include a drinkware wholesaler that formerly struggled to respond to simple changes in customer demand. Every day, the team manually exported ERP and ecommerce data into spreadsheets to track inventory levels. The time-consuming process forced decision-makers to use stale data. And in a highly competitive market, leaders knew it put them at risk of losing customers.

By replacing spreadsheets with NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, the wholesaler now blends data that reflects its ERP activity with its Google Analytics data. The solution automatically generates daily inventory scorecards and forecasts down to the SKU number. The team now better anticipates and responds to demand, which boosts customer retention, lowers costs, and allows it to jump on trends in a fast-changing market.

Reduce Risk at YOUR Business With NetSuite Analytics Warehouse

NetSuite Analytics Warehouse combines a data warehouse and advanced analytics tool into a single, cloud-based solution. It consolidates all your business’s data — including NetSuite transactional data, historical data, and data from other sources like Shopify and Google Analytics — via connectors that make for easy installation and adoption.

You’ll get immediate insights from your data with an array of dashboards and reports, and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows for customization. The solution’s predictive analytics generate insights for teams throughout your business, so you can better anticipate and capitalize on market changes.

NetSuite Analytics Warehouse is designed to automate and accelerate the delivery of mission-critical insights across your business. As a result, leaders can more easily make decisions that convert risk to opportunity.

Learn more about how a cloud data warehouse delivers faster insights(opens in new tab).

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.