Data-driven decision making has become a cornerstone of success in the world of modern business. Making decisions without data is like navigating through a sea of possibilities without a compass to give you direction. Not sure you agree with us? What about the world’s most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, who shared the timeless wisdom of “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”
While Holmes may be a fictional character who was solving mysteries in the 1800s, his insight still resonates for those leading organizations in the very real modern world. The ability to gather, analyze, and act upon data has never been more critical. It empowers you to understand the impact that different choices make on your business at a deeper level, causing you to make better decisions and ultimately return superior results.
While you may not be a detective with plot armor, one of the greatest inventions of humankind was not available to Detective Holmes that greatly evens the playing field today: computers! It’s now easier than ever before to capture the incredible amount of data that we generate every single day.
At bare minimum, your payroll software should handle gathering data for you and throwing it into a spreadsheet. In fact, it’s become so easy to capture data that the problem has shifted from how to gather it to how to sort through the mountains of data points that we produce. After all, having too much information to the point that you can’t even understand it is useless since your decision makers won’t be able to leverage it to benefit your business.
Let’s take a look at an easy example that you can probably follow along with using your payroll software.
Imagine you’re interested in figuring out how payroll spend has changed over the past 5 years. Depending on if you have weekly or biweekly payroll, you would be looking at 130 or 260 rows of data if looking at the total amount spent per week. Want to dive deeper? For every level of detail you add, the number of data points begins to grow quickly. If you want to see the payroll spend by 3 broad work types (administrative, executive, caregiver), you triple the amount of rows to 390 or 780. As you continue to add additional details to your analysis or begin working with larger data sets that produce more than a singular data point every couple of weeks, the amount of data begins to get out of hand fast, becoming completely unrealistic for a single person to comprehend what they’re looking at.
To solve the problem of presenting information in a way that real people can understand, companies convert their spreadsheets of data into visualizations. These are graphic representations of data that can take many forms. Charts, graphs, tables, maps, etc. are all types of visualizations that can help convert hundreds of thousands of rows of an Excel document into something that can be understood within seconds.
Let’s relook at that simple example of 5-year payroll spend to demonstrate why visualizations are so important. Just looking at the spreadsheet, you would need to go through each payroll’s numbers compared to the previous and future weeks to try to get a rough estimate for when you had increased or decreased spending.
Now, imagine instead of reading through raw numbers, you convert that data into a line graph. Within seconds, you would be able to easily understand the data you pulled, clearly seeing increases and decreases in payroll spend over that time. And this difference in efficiency only becomes more extreme as you start analyzing datasets that may have thousands of rows of numbers, which is impossible to interpret without visualizations.
While there’s a pretty good chance you’re familiar with reading charts and graphs, a considerably smaller number of people are comfortable creating them. At Viventium, we understand the importance of bridging that gap. We offer an extensive Report Library that provides easy access to hundreds of pre-built reports, right at your fingertips. But what happens when your unique business has specific needs that aren’t covered by these pre-built reports? We have you covered there, too.
Viventium’s Report Builder lets you craft custom reports and visualizations using any of the variables that are automatically stored in our software. This doesn’t only include payroll data either; you can pull, manipulate, and analyze data from any part of our Viventium product suite, including Onboarding, Benefits Administration, and ACA Tracking.
Viventium strives to make this Report Builder as accessible as possible, providing a simple yet powerful tool to help you take your business to the next level. If this is still a bit intimidating, we understand! That’s why we have a team of real people ready to help you with your custom data journey – you just have to reach out!
At Viventium, we believe that accessibility to your own data is of the utmost importance in taking full control of your business. This is just another way that we remain committed to being forever in it with you.
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