Actionable Intelligence — Insights Driving Action

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Dinu Davuluri, Chief Business Intelligence Architect at Provade.

Traditionally, Business Intelligence (BI) tools assist in reporting facts and analytics through reports, dashboards, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and alerts. What if those facts and insights could drive real value when the user acts on them at the point of discovery either by user intervention (Lights-On) or automatically (Light-Off)?

In the past, BI applications were developed separately, or outside the line-of-business transaction applications. This made the two systems disjointed, and the user was forced to toggle between applications to take action. In a world where business runs at the speed of thought, this delay in driving relevant business actions can have dire consequences. Thus it's more important than ever to close this analysis loop through the introduction and implementation of "closed-loop" analytics.

Closed-loop analytics assist the user in providing useful context sensitive insights while the transaction is being performed, allowing them to take action during report and dashboard review. Leveraging all insights and facts is what now drives business, as opposed to guesswork. In the words of Warren Buffet, "Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing." This is a product of the lack of useful insights that drive action.

Below I have listed a just a few ways that insights into information, through closed loop analytics, can help drive action in the world of Vendor Management Systems (VMS):

  • When a supplier submits a candidate to a requisition, the hiring manager reviewing the submittal is presented with an insight comparing the rate on the candidate submittal to market rates. This insight is augmented by details regarding the supplier's historical candidate quality, overtime billing, etc. Armed with this intelligence, the user can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the candidate.
  • Work orders can automatically be released once all on-boarding tasks are completed.
  • Dashboard reports or alerts are provided, telling the user when work orders are near completion. This includes buttons within the report that enable the user to extend or close them with minimal clicks.
  • Alerts can be established to prompt the user to take necessary action when a worker on an assignment is in danger of exceeding the allowed tenure or the committed spend.
  • Based on poor results from a worker performance survey, the candidate can be put "on hold." If the same worker is submitted on another requisition, the supplier and MSP are alerted.
  • An alert notifying workers that they must submit their timesheets before invoices are generated can be established. This helps ensure timely billing and payment.
  • Users can be assisted in procuring the right candidate based on location-specific rates. If a requisition is created for a California work location, the requester can be advised if the same job, hosted in a different geography could drive savings. Identifying positive worker performance surveys on workers whose assignments are coming to an end in the more economical geographies provides relevant, actionable insight.
  • Suppliers can be put on hold if their performance falls below acceptable levels. This is tracked through customer-specific KPIs like time to fill, rate compliance and candidate performance. To mitigate these issues, suppliers receive notification when their performance in key areas is putting them at risk of deactivation.

I am a firm believer in leveraging insights, facts and data to drive business. It helps users make informed decisions and avoid situations that could have been prevented. Harness the power that is available to you in your VMS and make that data work for you and your bottom line.

- Dinu Davuluri, Chief Business Intelligence Architect, Provade

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