Big data is already changing the ways companies engage in sales, marketing and operations. And its impact is not expected to stop there. Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng predicts big data’s next big move is into the fields of finance and procurement, with a massive shift into the world of e-invoicing.
Lanng says the shift will occur as more and more private and government organizations understand how truly valuable digitalization can be. E-invoicing allows organizations to stock its systems with more complete data, which can then be easily searched. Organization’s payment and invoicing systems can also more easily be reviewed by a data analyst to determine if the system has any issues that can be improved or corrected.
Here the role of a company data analyst takes on yet another responsibility, creating even greater demand for individuals skilled in deciphering massive amounts of data and then presenting the findings in a way people can both understand and act upon.
E-invoicing coupled with skilled analysis has the potential to streamline the entire billing and procurement process. Let’s say, for instance, an analyst decides to look at data concerning the approval times of each invoice in the invoicing cycle. He or she might note the process is taking much longer than it should, something that can be further explored and corrected now that it has been recognized.
Paper invoice systems don’t offer the same in-depth look at an entire cycle. And e-invoicing systems can’t work best without an analyst to take a deep look into the data sets.
The big data gleaned from e-invoicing can also give businesses the same type of advantages they get from big data in other realms. One advantage comes from the newfound ability to analyze even the minutest of details. An example here could be payment cycles that run smoothly in, say, Japan, but aren’t running as smoothly in England or Spain. Analysis could uncover if approval times are varying by region – and then help determine why.
The only way such subtle differences would be noticed is with a digital payment process and the analytics that go with it. Lanng says the overall national and global race for digitalization is in full swing, and companies can enjoy competitive advantages if they get there first.
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