Transforming raw data into actionable intelligence to enable better business decisions
Does your enterprise have full visibility of how much is being spent, what is being procured, and from whom across your organization? Very few organizations do, yet without clear and reliable spend visibility, your procurement function is:
More often than not an organization’s expenditure data is only suitable for financial management (budgeting, accounts payable, P&L reporting etc.). However, this same data in its raw form is not usually not suitable for spend analysis or supply chain analytics without a significant amount of cleansing, classification and enrichment.
How we help
JB Spend Analytics enables you to get an accurate picture of how much is spent, on what, with whom and by whom through a robust, managed data transformation and easy to use analytical tools. This enables you to manage your spend effectively and strategically to help:
Our managed service approach means that you can focus on procurement whilst we focus on the data transformation process to ensure that the end result is robust, reliable and relevant to drive business decisions that will make a difference.
JB Spend Analytics has been designed to help you:
What we do
- JB Transform – provides a managed service for the collection, validation, cleansing, classification, enrichment, collation and transformation of expenditure data so that it is clear, reliable and contains the right information that procurement practitioners need with minimal impact on the procurement team.
- JB Analyze – provides a modular suite of analytical tools delivered in the cloud (enabling access from any web enabled device) to help you analyze your spend data to make better business decisions
- JB Measure – is an additional application which enables you to capture, report and analyze delivered savings.
Getting your data into the best possible shape
We believe business intelligence should be driven by business objectives and strategic intent. If your intent is strategic, then the data you use to underpin your decision-making needs to be as complete, accurate and reliable as is feasible. It’s all about confidence. And that confidence will evaporate rapidly if your spend data isn’t fit-for-purpose. Of course, the tools matter, but in our customers’ experience, the data matters more. That’s why we spend as much time, effort and energy as we do focused on getting your data into the best possible shape.
But transforming spend data into actionable business intelligence is tough. Technology can certainly help, but in our experience, if the raw data is incomplete, lacking in detail or not coded accurately at source, then no auto-classification or artificial intelligence-based approach will deliver an acceptable end result for more than a small proportion of your spend. Simply put, if a reasonably knowledgeable human can’t tell you what it was you bought by looking at the data, then neither can a machine. Rules-based mapping of your account codes doesn’t add a great deal of analytical value either. If a code was wrong or inappropriate before you mapped it, it will still be wrong or inappropriate once it has been mapped to something else. Often, organizations invest time, money and effort in auto-classification or code mapping only to end up bitterly disappointed. That’s why we do it differently.
How we help
Our hybrid data transformation methodology is an effective combination of people, process, data and technology that has been designed to deliver the best possible analytical outcome regardless of the quality of the source data. We use sophisticated auto-classification and machine learning, but only where it’s appropriate to do so. Our key difference is our use of people. Analysts are actively involved throughout the data transformation and enrichment process, making decisions that no business rule or computer program can. That’s why we can confidently commit to correctly categorizing 97% of your spend by value.
What we do
- We help build a solid foundation
No one would ever risk putting hours of work into building a house if it lacked a firm foundation. The same is true of spend analytics. Good data, that is fit-for-purpose, is the foundation on which procurement strategy and operational execution rests. That’s why we pay particular attention to ensuring that the raw data you extract from your accounts payable, purchase card and eProcurement systems properly reflects the totality of your spend on goods and services. You may be surprised at how little you need to give us in order for us to give you a lot more back and how little effort you need to expend to give it to us. Eight to sixteen hours total effort on your part is all that is typically required to get us the data we need, and to review the results (of more than 400 checks, our Resequence data validation engine routinely makes as part of our initial Data Fitness Check (DFC) process). Once the Resequence DFC is signed off there is nothing more you need to do until our transformation work is complete and your data is published to the JB Transform platform.
- We cleanse, de-duplicate, categorize and enrich your data
We don’t believe that merely reorganizing the data that you gave us adds nearly enough value. When we say we transform, enrich and add value to your data that’s precisely what we mean. But then we do have several significant advantages. Our core internal reference database has been painstakingly constructed as a result of processing half a trillion dollars of spend with 9.5 million vendors. Our commodity categorization training set is derived from categorizing more than 40 million purchased items to UNSPC. The reference database we license from Experian contains extensive organizational profiles of almost 45 million US,UK, and other countries’ businesses, government bodies and not-for-profit organizations. We bring all of these data assets to bear when cleansing, de-duplicating, categorizing and enriching your data.
We also throw smart and experienced people into the mix. Our project managers and analysts are actively involved throughout the data transformation process, making decisions that no business rule or computer program can. Technology has a part to play too. Over the years we’ve invested heavily in the development of a sophisticated, purpose-built infrastructure to manage the process of transforming your data. That’s how we’re able to deliver enterprise-wide spend visibility across large, complex, multi-faceted organizations comprised of many disparate parts without skipping a beat, or missing a single piece of data.
- We organize your data so that it’s ready for analysis – because organized data matters
Getting quickly to the answers you need, and discovering hidden insights in your data, is about more than the tools. How the data is organized for analysis matters too. Over the years we’ve used every taxonomy for categorizing spend available and none of them did a perfect job of balancing the need to drill to detail with summary labels that made sense. So, we analyzed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of actual expenditure and built our own.
vCode is a three-level hierarchical taxonomy for categorizing spend that perfectly balances the need for detail (almost 600 categories at the lowest level) whilst enabling summation (30 categories at the top level) in terms that procurement, finance and management can comprehend. It has also been built to facilitate meaningful categorization of spend on goods and services where there’s little or no detail in the source data. If you want to generate reports and analysis using something else that’s fine too. Our analytical tools support most of the taxonomies you’ve heard of, and a few you probably haven’t.
Analyze Your Spend Effectively
JB ANALYZE is our modular suite of analytical tools delivered in the CLOUD to help you:
Analyze is a functionally rich and highly flexible business intelligence toolset designed to enable a business user to generate a comprehensive analysis (including drill-to-detail) of their organization’s spend on goods and services. Reports are pre-built to support the generation of great looking charts, graphs, tables and lists right out of the box. Analyze delivers the critical intelligence you need to underpin the development of procurement strategy, manage spend by category and engage stakeholders.
Compare is a powerful analytical toolset that enables the rapid production of comparative statistics and key indicators. The module makes it easy to visualize how your spend on goods and services is changing over time and, where organizations have agreed to share their data, it facilitates comparison with another organization, or group of organizations. Compare makes it straightforward to evaluate your own position relative to the average or “best in class” for other organizations of a similar type and size – invaluable context when setting realistic and achievable procurement transformation goals.
Collaborate is a unique and functionally rich application designed to help you better leverage the spend you have in common with other organizations in a group. Collaborate makes it easy to analyze your common and repetitive spend to generate insights that have the potential to drive savings through aggregating your organizations spend with that of other organizations in a buying group or consortium.
Contract is a data entry and analytical tool that makes it easy to upload summary contract information and link those contracts to your transformed spend data – even when there was no contract reference in the source data. Contract contains a unique view of spend with contracted and non-contracted suppliers that can help to significantly reduce maverick purchasing as well as highlight areas of spend that have historically been under-managed.
What gets measured gets done
What gets measured gets done. But measuring delivered savings is hard without a reliable methodology and online tools to capture the savings made. Our Measure application changes that by helping your procurement teams capture the critical information needed to evidence the value they deliver to your organization, and in terms that the business will understand.