Managing your data and dashboards with Oracle Cloud ERP

Authors: Brad Fisher and Jeff Haynes

Disruption caused by the pandemic triggered behavioral changes that will remain even after the threat has subsided. Shelter-in-place orders required businesses of all industries and sizes to evaluate their operations and, for many, expedited an already needed digital transformation. The “new normal” will continue to include remote work, outdated technology requiring an on-premise footprint and significant maintenance/support and are likely ill-equipped for such a world. On the other hand, cloud-based tools offer the clear benefits of virtual maintenance, updates and enhancements, while also offering users a modern, consumer-based experienced, that we have all come to expect, especially in our “work from home” world, but critically, access to data and dashboards to sustain and plan for the future.

For most organizations, moving to the cloud is not a matter of “if,” but “when.” According to a recent Baker Tilly survey, when it comes to organizations moving to a new ERP cloud (SaaS) solution, 20% are likely to move in the next 1-2 years and 29% have already completed or begun the process. The benefits have never been more clear. To that end, Baker Tilly recently hosted the webinar, “Manage by exception through data, dashboards and Oracle Cloud ERP.” Led by Brad Fisher, senior manager, enterprise solutions and services, along with colleagues Ken Fleming, Ben Berlangieri and Ron Nelson, the panel discussed how leveraging a unified platform application like Oracle Cloud ERP can give financial leaders real-time visibility to the data analytics they need to help manage by exception, bypass fiscal pitfalls, make intelligent business decisions, maintain financial resiliency and grow market share — even during a pandemic.

Why Oracle Cloud?

Oracle Cloud allows your entire enterprise to have access to the same, real-time data on the same platform. For example, the systems your sales, human capital, finance, budgeting, forecasting and supply chain teams use individually can be streamlined onto one Oracle cloud platform. This not only reduces the need for IT support across different platforms, but allows your organization to be more strategic, as less time is spent aggregating data. This streamlined approach focuses on the total organization across the enterprise, integrating data to give organizations the ability to plan properly, respond thoughtfully and transform how they react to changes within their organization. In addition to operating more effectively, implementing the Oracle Cloud platform steers an organization towards more efficiency across common business processes, informing best practices and can lead to reduced IT integration costs.

The Baker Tilly team highlighted some features of Oracle Cloud:

CFO dashboard: Traditionally, management struggles with data management. Either the data needed is not accessible, or is slow to make it to the C-suite, due to the number of different departments it must pass through. Oracle’s CFO dashboard provides real-time, consolidated access to data. This “one stop shop” provides numerous benefits, including:

  1. Data can be analyzed in real time without first being aggregated manually. The consolidated data can be used to focus on “what did we miss, why did we miss it and how do we fix it?” rather than manipulating data between platforms.
    - These changes have another positive outcome: happier employees. Financial analysts that used to just be “spreadsheet jockeys”, are now enabled with superior modern tools, allowing their roles to become more strategic and personally fulfilling.
  2. Management has real-time access to financials, including cash flow. This is particularly valuable during times of uncertainty, when businesses may need to pivot quickly in response to disruption to ensure they can maintain operations.
  3. Through continuous, real-time data monitoring, businesses are able to identify if something appears “off” in their data. Errors can be spotted quickly and issues can be mitigated earlier than with more “traditional” databases.

Ability to drill down: Oracle allows users to drill down in the data in real time to determine what is working and what is not. This ability assists management to answer important questions, including:

  1. Should we leverage our balance sheet to do M&A?
  2. Are we regularly evaluating data to identify patterns of information that might affect the future?
  3. Do we have insight on industry trends that could help us consolidate our suppliers?

Modeling and forecasting capabilities: Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) lets users bring in multiple, external data sets to help companies forecast upcoming challenges and trends. For example, a higher education institution could plug in a database containing historical application rates to estimate future application trends based on a mix of different programs the institution is evaluating. The ability to model and forecast is a huge value for management, as using historical data is simplified using OAC, and the system is flexible to allow users to use the data most relevant to their needs. OAC also allows users to run scenario and sensitivity analyses, allowing them to easily determine “if we do X, what happens to Y?” An organization’s accounting function can build additional value using OAC, as instead of interpreting data across multiple spreadsheets to determine budgets, they can analyze all the necessary financial information in one place.

With modern cloud based tools, organizations are not only surviving uncertainty, but responding to disruption with innovation and strategic thinking that can drive change outcomes for years to come. Baker Tilly professionals are ready to help you leverage and implement a consolidated data platform like Oracle Cloud ERP or Oracle Analytics Cloud. For more information on this topic or to learn how we can help, contact our team.

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