Why A Digital Business Needs A Digital Boardroom

Andreas Kral

Did you know two-thirds of Australian enterprises are ranked as “low maturity” when it comes to Big Data analytics? Given the length at which we’ve discussed big data in recent years, this may come as a surprise.

But it’s evidence of something I see regularly – that capturing increasing volumes of data and understanding its business value isn’t really the problem. The real challenge is being able to manage, analyse and put this data to work.

Encouragingly, the same Telsyte study showed 83% of Australian businesses are planning to increase investments in data analysis, with this emerging as one of the top three business priorities.

While this will change the way data is used across businesses, think about the impact these real-time insights will have on the main decision-making hub – executive meetings.

Traditional meetings consist of spreadsheets populated with static and siloed data that’s often a few days old. This means decisions are based on insights that might no longer be relevant or are viewed in isolation, limiting their use and accuracy.

If we were to continue this traditional way of working, using the insights captured by modern big data analytics tools would still restrict potential. While the data might be more current, it’s still static and analysed in isolation.

To address this, we need to re-imagine meetings as well as the way we analyse data. We can add real value by bringing in dashboards that enable real-time data insights, detailed visualisations and predictive analytics.

The competitive business landscape has placed great pressure on businesses to adopt new digital technologies. While understanding and responding to market demands has long been critical to success, the pace at which businesses respond has been slow.

Enter the digital boardroom

The digital boardroom brings these capabilities to life, providing a cloud-based platform integrating all data insights captured from across the business. This enables interactive and strategic discussions around all business decisions, with solutions based on ad-hoc and contextual real-time data analysis.

For Australian businesses, having an integrated data and analytics platform in the meeting room is a huge advantage in maximising the value of increased data volumes. Leaders can now stay across all facets of the business from a single control room.

This allows them to explore relationships between different sets of data, spotting patterns and trends that create opportunities. By using predictive algorithms, businesses can also forecast different scenarios and make strategic decisions.

Additional benefits of the digital boardroom include:

  • Impactful meetings Its intuitive interface means interactive data visualisations can be used in presentations to support conversations and drill down in greater detail where needed.
  • Planning and simulation Executives can explore alternative courses of action and compare the impact of potential decisions.
  • Data-driven insights It enables business leaders to explore relationships between different sets of data, combining figures and using different filters to compare trends and spot correlations.
  • Best-practice content Business leaders gain access to predefined queries, data models, visualisations and best practices from business process experts.

How does it help business?

By moving the boardroom into the 21st century, executives are able to improve global visibility and forecasting accuracy, creating better business outcomes.

ABeam Consulting used the Digital Boardroom to support its expansion into a globally established consulting firm. This helped drive business transformation, uncovering new ways to improve financial planning and forecasting, while evaluating risks associated with global and regional consulting projects in real time.

UK utility company, Northern Gas Networks, used the Digital Boardroom as part of its broader digital transformation, with the platform helping improve visibility and improve operations with real-time analytics. This has delivered such a change that Northern Gas is working towards its business goals more than 12 years in advance.

Access to business intelligence and analytics creates a catalyst for innovation, opening new possibilities. The businesses that succeed in this digital environment will be those that are able to integrate real-time insights from across different functions, forecasting growth and predicting future trends. This is the value of powering executive meetings with data.

To learn more and experience the Digital Boardroom, catch my presentation at the SAUG Melbourne Conference 2017 on November 16th at the MCEC.


Andreas Kral

About Andreas Kral

Andreas Kral is the Solution Manager for Analytics, BI and Predictive, for SAP Australia and New Zealand. With a background in Mathematics, he joined Business Objects in Europe in 2005 as Presales, looking after mainly Financial Services customers in Switzerland. Since 2008, Andreas has been living in Melbourne and working for SAP Australia, helping customers across the country understand and realise the value of BI and Predictive solutions. Having completed his MBA at the University of Melbourne, Andreas has joined the Centre of Excellence team at SAP Australia in 2016, looking after the BI and Predictive solution portfolio. Andreas has a passion for analysing numbers and big data, turning hidden patterns and trends into meaningful pictures that serve Science and Businesses run better and achieve better outcomes.