BravoConnect Dispatch: Where Configuration and Data/Analytics Architecture Converge

One of BravoSolution’s mantras in North America in recent years has been: get out of the professional services business.

Now, this is not entirely true – as a cloud-based solutions provider, there’s an inevitable amount of configuration associated with deployments (and source-to-contract vendors tend to do this in-house as opposed to with consulting partners). But what’s curious is that one aspect of professional services BravoSolution has not given up is one that separates it out from many other providers we’ve recently examined: analytics and data architecture, carried out through the configuration process.

At BravoConnect this week, I spoke to numerous customers, all of whom were positive and some even raved about Bravo’s role in running interactive analytics design sessions and then rapidly configuring customized dashboard and analytic environments specific to their needs beyond spend analytics basics views. Note: this is anything but a “spend classification” type workshop. These environments typically sit on top of the BravoAdvantage suite and use Tableau as a reporting interface.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Bravo designs these environments for three different types of users:

  • Analysts – who care all about the data “and want lots of it fast”
  • Category Managers – “who may wear two hats, but are short on time” and “are looking for answers to an expected set of questions” but may “still want to go digging”
  • Executives – who are “even shorter on time” but may “go digging, but most likely my category manager will get that job”

But what do some of these dashboards look like? Bravo shared a few examples with the Spend Matters team.

  • One dashboard type was centered at the highest level on general spend data combined with category insights – total spend, total number of suppliers, countries, etc. Variance, comparative trending, maps-based views and related charts are all available on a top-level (first screen) view. Down a level, a category perspective provides insight into how certain spend types (e.g., supply chain spend by logistics, warehousing, 3PL, fleet, etc.) are categorized based on area spending and number of suppliers – with an immediate drill-down to get into lower-level classification
  • Another dashboard type provides an overview into savings pipelines (based on both high-level and targeted savings opportunities based on region, P&L, etc.). Saving by region, for example, breaks down into actual YTD savings, projects in progress, savings by project size, etc. With appropriate permissions, users can click into projects (for granular details) and even into the sourcing, supplier management, contracts and analytics modules themselves from top and other level views
  • A third type of dashboard presents highly granular category information. The example shown was a form of T&E spend, showing the most frequent city papers and associated savings opportunities, missed potential savings, number of trips, advance purchase trending, savings by ticket type, etc.

These examples are just a start. Bravo shared numerous others with us. But what’s clear is that in acting as data and analytics architect as part of the deployment process, BravoSolution is making the notion of configuration take on a whole new strategic level from a spend and supply visibility perspective. And it’s delighting customers, a number of which brought this up directly in conversation with us.

Moreover, this approach is something that other providers and consultants could learn from, especially in the accelerated manner in which Bravo delivers these customized views directly integrated with the underlying applications/modules themselves as part of the configuration and deployment process.

After all, it’s not rocket science.

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