The Business Analytics Boost For Professional ServicesYou probably recognize the importance of business analytics to your professional services firm. You’d like to deliver meaningful performance insights to everyone in your organization – anywhere, at any time.
Your staff needs to analyze customer profitability and service line performance, manage utilization rates, evaluate competitive benchmarks and overall market trends. Whatever the context, the baseline questions are the same: What happened? Why? What’s happening now, and how will it affect what happens next? And which opportunities offer the lowest risks and highest returns?
If your resource manager could predict demand for particular skill sets and adjust the resource and hiring pool accordingly, it would increase staffing efficiency – and raise your ever-important resource utilization rate. More accurate views of project performance and alert indicators for potential risks could help engagement managers deliver client engagements on time and within budget. A 360-degree view of client interactions could make it easier for sales managers to identify and drive sales opportunities.
Business analytics supports such predictive insights by promoting data-driven decision making that affects organizational performance across your firm.
Drive meaningful insights
Analyze these three important areas to set your professional services firm apart:
- Employee focus. Employees are your most expensive asset – and the one that dictates client satisfaction and ensures repeat business. Best-in-class companies have high resource utilization rates and low attrition – goals they achieve through a focus on training, career management, performance, and life-work balance.
- Execution and operations focus. The most effective firms invest in tools and methods that can be used over multiple engagements. The result: faster delivery within budget plus increased consistency. And streamlining day-to-day support processes improves client and employee satisfaction and reduces operational costs.
- Client focus. When you deliver projects efficiently, on time, and within budget, you increase customer satisfaction and maximize repeat business. And building personal relationships with clients helps you attract new business through referrals, reducing sales and marketing costs.
See remarkable results
Understanding these drivers is one thing, but acting on them is another. To achieve remarkable results when managing employees, operations, and clients, you must know your business, decide with confidence, and act boldly. That means focusing on three key elements:
1. Know your business.
How’s your financial and operational performance this week? This month? This quarter? To fully understand real-time risk exposure and opportunities, you need keen insights and a 360-degree view of every client. You should be able to analyze service delivery profitability by business unit, geography, client, or current or past engagement – and to analyze resource utilization across roles, regions, and lines of service. You should be able to track critical KPIs such as revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and attrition rate – and see results on demand.
2. Decide with confidence.
Each person in your organization should understand what it means to make decisions based on performance goals clearly aligned with an achievable plan. You should have access to sophisticated what-if and predictive analysis tools – tools that make it easy to compare the full business implications of multiple options. Such insight helps you drive cross-sell and up-sell strategies with increased confidence and improve client satisfaction by assigning those resources that deliver the greatest service value.
3. Act boldly.
To increase revenues, you need to go after your most profitable clients, identify and win promising new clients, and focus on selling your most profitable services. You need to reduce operational costs while optimizing performance – for example, adjusting sales strategies to improve cross-selling techniques.
What other insights can you generate from applying business analytics to your professional services firm?
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