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The Future of Procurement Analytics and Content

The history of advanced procurement analytics goes back less than two decades. Yet within this time frame, we've observed significant market adoption of a range of technologies. To summarize this evolution, procurement analytics started by extending IT-centric data management strategies before quickly moving into a specialized set of dedicated spend analysis toolsets. As this journey unfolded, greater numbers of end users began to interact indirectly with spend analysis tools through reporting capabilities while power users increasingly began to drill down on more complicated datasets. Still challenges, remained.

Fortunately, overcoming at least a subset of these limitations today can be as easy as choosing specialized providers.

Yet the biggest limiting factor for how companies use procurement analytics is often not underlying software limitations—or knowing who to turn to. Rather, it's using their imaginations to conceive what's possible through procurement analytics and then working backwards to make what might appear a long-term vision into a shorter-term reality. This Spend Matters Compass paper presents three experiential scenarios that we hope will provide companies with multiple visions for what advanced procurement analytics can enable using off-the-shelf capabilities today.

In the first scenario, what we term "Embedded Functional Enablement", we ask readers when it comes to cost savings and related strategies, to stop and think about not what they do for business stakeholders, but what business stakeholders could be doing for them (a curious twist, eh?) To step into this world, reorient your entire outlook from one of directly impacting results to improving their ability to drive bottom line results, risk reduction and even top line improvement for you. Chances are, the technologies you deploy in the context will look very—and we mean very—different from what you've prioritized in the past. And from a procurement analytics emphasis, the solution environment will perhaps look the most different of all of the source-to-pay technology areas.

The second scenario we present, "Making Better Procurement Transparent on the Front Lines of the Business," outlines how analytics and information can empower frontline users, often on a transparent basis, in their everyday activities. And the third scenario, "Enabling the Power User to Drive Transformational Analysis," takes a look at what can happen when we put the maximum spend analytics horsepower in the right, able and expert hands. Whether you're looking for general spend analytics inspiration for tomorrow or are interested in highly specific use cases that highlight what's possible to drive greater savings identification and spend compliance today, don't wait another minute.

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