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Benchmarking Process

Using Year End Reports for Data Driven Decisions

Feb 18, 2016 4:45:00 PM

Year end reporting usually means another stack of financial and operational reports hitting your inbox. While the initial influx may elicit a groan of dread, take a moment to consider the treasure trove of valuable information buried within those mountains of statistics and percentages. Answers to questions that have been nagging you all year long can be found buried within those numbers but you need a key to unlock that business intelligence.

With many companies’ fiscal years following the standard calendar year, year end reports are typically finalized in January or February. But without the right perspective or tool, putting that information to good use for your company is difficult. If you have access to a quality benchmarking study, you’re already well on your way to leveraging those statistics to their fullest potential. By inputting the data in those reports into a benchmarking platform equipped with customizable filters, you can create reports that allow you to answer pressing questions such as:

●    How do my operating expenses compare to past years in the industry?
●    Are my sales and profits trending with the market?
●    What were the hiring trends in my industry last year?
●    What are the opportunities for growth for the year ahead?

A quality benchmarking platform will not only allow you to access industry trends and compare your performance against your industry as a whole, it can also provide you with direct peer-to-peer comparisons and year-over-year comparisons of your performance. Meaningful analyses such as these provide you with the best business intelligence available to develop strategic directives to grow and improve your business. Reports pulled from benchmarking studies can provide you with valuable business intelligence to make data driven decisions on:

●    The best marketing strategies for the coming year.
●    Expected sales figures and profit margins.
●    Opportunities for new product or service offerings.
●    Hiring decisions and resource allocation.
●    Compensation and benefit packages.

Trade associations and organizations are increasingly turning toward savvier solutions such as interactive benchmarking studies and reporting to attract and retain members. If you belong to such an organization, ask about what kind of benchmarking studies they offer their members and be sure to take advantage of them. Benchmarking surveys and their resulting reports can help you make the most of your company’s year end reports and deliver valuable insight for making this year the most successful one yet.