In today’s hyper-connected world, data is digital gold. Businesses that understand how to harness the power of their data stand to earn significant riches, but those that lack the foresight to act now will be left behind. 

Recent years have seen data begin to play a more important role in our world than ever before. All of the world’s most valuable businesses leverage data in valuable ways, whether it’s to learn more about customers, uncover efficiencies in the supply chain, or optimize financial performance. 

Even if you don’t realize it, your business likely sits atop a mountain of data. Success demands the right approach to collecting, structuring, analyzing, and acting on this data: a skillset many Small to Midsize Businesses (SMBs) currently lack. 

Fortunately, there’s a solution: outsourced data analytics firms. These firms provide a wide range of advisory services that help businesses of all shapes and sizes start leveraging the power of their data to drive improved business performance. 

For businesses based in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, it’s important to find a data advisory service that’s equipped to match your needs. In this overview, we explore the key services provided by data analytics companies. 

Data Analytics Services

Often used as an umbrella term to describe some of the services outlined below, data analytics services cover a wide range of sub-topics. In general, however, working with a data analytics service enables businesses to generate insights based on the data already resident within their business. 

This can yield four distinct types of insight: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive.

By subjecting their data to rigorous analysis, business leaders can build a significantly better understanding of complex business issues. Data analytics can be used to find an answer to a specific question or to explore a much wider topic in great depth. 

Depending on how data analytics are used, they can either serve as a magnifying glass or a crystal ball: helping leaders understand what happened and why, as well as what might happen in the future. 

Data Visualization Services

Data isn’t all just numbers: it’s a powerful storytelling tool. By presenting the insights from their data in compelling visual formats, business leaders can create strong narratives around all kinds of issues. 

Data visualizations can be used to build support for an issue across the business, to help sales teams create better pitches to prospective customers, or to give leaders cutting-edge insights that influence decision-making. 

Working with a data visualization service helps your business identify meaningful data and design powerful ways to share the stories it tells with a wider audience. This could involve building financial dashboards, creating impactful graphs and charts, or working on financial reports for board presentations. 

Financial Planning & Analysis Services

Provided you have robust accounting and bookkeeping, it’s relatively straightforward to look back and understand what happened during an accounting period. What’s more complex is looking forward and predicting what might happen next. 

That’s the role of Financial Planning & Analysis (FPA), a specialized field of data analytics that focuses on analyzing financial data, identifying trends, and recommending financial strategies to capitalize on these opportunities. 

FPA services typically provide two things: an FPA platform that business leaders can use to assess their data, and a team of accountants and financial analysts with the skills required to help businesses effectively analyze this data. 

Technology Compliance Services

While harnessing the power of your firm’s data can be a game changer for performance, it’s important to take a measured approach. There are a wide variety of industry-specific regulations that dictate the practices your business must follow in handling confidential data. Notable examples of these include GDPR and HIPAA

Failure to comply with these can have serious consequences, including fines, reputational damage, and a complete erosion of customer trust. 

Working with a technology compliance service ensures that your business abides by these data governance standards. Many services offer deeper insights, assessing your organization’s current cybersecurity profile and recommending steps that your business should take to better protect confidential data from cyber attacks. 

SOC 1 and SOC 2 Examinations

In some instances, it might be necessary for your business to go a step further than working with a typical technology compliance service provider. Customers, partners, and even some vendors might request that your business obtain a SOC 1 and/or SOC 2 examination before working with you. 

These are both areas in which a data analytics service can support – particularly SOC 2 audits. Whereas SOC 1 audits examine the internal financial controls of your business, SOC 2 audits are primarily focused on how your business manages confidential data. They are often requested by potential customers and demonstrate your business has a well-established internal security framework that protects private user data. 

Dive Deeper: What Are SOC Examinations (And Why Do They Matter?)

LBMC: A Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana Based Data Analytics Firm

If you’re just starting to consider the role data analytics plays in your wider business strategy, knowing where to start can be challenging. There are many different services available: you might need one of the services described here, a few, or a full-scale service that includes them all.

The best place to start is by finding a trusted advisor that can help you determine the right fit for your business. At LBMC, our data analytics professionals provide all of the services described above to businesses in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and beyond. We take a collaborative approach to equip your business with the skills and technology you need to elevate the role of data in your business. 

With data analytics, stronger business performance is well within your grasp. Leaders will be better equipped to make important decisions with higher levels of confidence, sales teams can create more compelling pitches to customers, and finance teams will be able to engineer profitable growth. 

Ready to start working with a Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana-based data analytics firm? LBMC is here to help: contact an advisor today to get started.