The Importance of Real-time Data Reporting in Professional Services

One of the most crucial tools among professional services companies is real-time data reporting. Learn more!

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    Today’s business landscape is treacherous. In order for professional services firms to thrive, they need information—up-to-the-minute, accurate data about what is happening and how it’s affecting the bottom line. One of the most crucial, but underutilized, tools among professional services is real-time data reporting.

    To say that the business world is volatile is nearly an understatement. When conditions change by the minute, a report about what happened last year, or even last month, isn’t as useful as it is in a more stable business climate. Static reports can provide valuable information, but when they are combined with real-time data, the result is far more powerful.

    In this post, we describe five of the most important reasons your professional services company should be using real-time data reporting.

    1. Utilize Resources More Effectively

    The resources available at any given time are limited. You only have so many employees, and they are bound by the limitations of the clock. Similarly, materials, computing power, space, and every other resource necessary for running a company are finite. One of the keys to a greater profit margin is effectively managing those resources.

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    With real-time data reporting you don’t have to rely on reports about what happened last year or last week. You can clearly see what resources are under-utilized and which are stretched thin in the current moment and reallocate as needed.

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    2. Maintain or Improve Profit Margins

    Businesses exist in order to earn profits. In the field of professional services, profit margins can be thin, so maximizing them where possible is crucial. With real-time reports, you can spot trends before they become problems. Up-to-the-minute reporting reveals how project pricing, billing, and resources are lining up as a project goes along so that corrections can be made as necessary.

    Real-time reporting also shows which projects are yielding higher profits, giving you the opportunity to seek out similar projects in the future. It’s an opportunity for proactive marketing, targeting precisely toward more profitable clients and projects.

    3. Improve Forecasting

    Predicting the future isn’t a foolproof process, even when you’re armed with knowledge of what happened last year. Consider, for example, the difference businesses experienced in April 2019 and April 2020. Having real-time reports adds nuance to forecasting, so that decision-makers have more context as they decide where to allocate resources for coming projects.

    Having historic information along with current data provides a far clearer picture of what the future may hold. Real-time analytics don’t put a crystal ball in your hands, but it certainly creates more clarity than historic data alone.

    4. Match Supply and Demand With Utilization

    In recent history, supply chain concerns were affecting everyone, businesses, individuals, governments—no one was exempt from crowded ports and delayed trains. In such circumstances, historical data is nearly useless.

    Real-time reporting allows professionals to see what their current resources are, what projects need what resources, and what’s coming down the pipeline. Accurately matching supply and demand with utilization prevents unnecessary delays and loss. When the supply chain suffers hiccups, you can respond immediately, using real-time data.

    5. Control Profit Leakage

    Sometimes you may need to offer a discount in order to make a client happy, or to win additional business. However, excessive discounting or free services can lead to lost profits, or leakage. Real-time reporting can show the value of discounts, or exactly how much is lost due to discounting.

    In addition to stopping profit leakage, current, accurate data can reveal opportunities to apply discounts strategically. Free or discounted services that lead to more profits make good business sense, and real-time reporting allows decision-makers to use those approaches diplomatically.

    Velosio offers real-time reporting with Progressus for small businesses and AXIO for enterprise businesses. Get in touch with us to learn more about how having access to real-time data can help you recognize trends, improve profits, and balance resource utilization.

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