Tracking a Decade of Change in the Shared Services Industry
Data analytics has only recently become a recognised tool in the shared services arsenal. While this may be surprising, it’s because the definition of “data” has been evolving over the past decade. In the early 2000s, with shared services already around for 10-plus years, the main data points being collected (think dashboards) were around the SLAs established in early iterations of the shared services model. Transactional-focused shared services were thus tracking metrics like cost of invoice, time to answer a call, error rate, days to close, etc. Data analytics back then meant by and large “reporting”.
Today, we stand at the brink of an entirely new opportunity – one that is enabled by the data tracked within your systems, but, crucially, given a powerful boost through more sophisticated analytics capabilities. In plain English this means that whereas in the past we tracked metrics, today we track what the metrics tell us and draw conclusions or “insights” that allow us to predict or even prescribe certain desired outcomes.
With the increased integration of end-to-end shared services, SSCs are fast becoming the sole guardian of enterprise-wide transactions and processes, thereby owning the data that is created around customers, suppliers, employees, and partners. There is an extraordinary opportunity, for those who recognise it, to harness the power of this data, effectively shifting shared services’ value proposition from cost minimisation to value creation.
For those that know how, real competitive advantage is within reach: If people are your enterprise’s greatest asset, business intelligence is what makes these assets more successful.
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