Our financials are the logical first place to start. And our financials are in the hands of our accounting firm. Specifically, they are stored in Quickbooks.
This, of course, poses a problem. Because like ALL accounting and ERP systems, Quickbooks is primarily focused on being a great accounting system. A system that collects, stores, organizes, and routes data. Quickbooks is NOT an analytics tool.
And being an analytics (or BI or reporting, whatever you call it) tool is a full-time job. ANY system whose job it is to collect/organize/route data will NEVER be sufficient for reporting and analysis. NEVER. I’m not kidding. We should never expect different, and that’s not a “knock” on these vendors. It’s just too many missions for any one company to execute.
This is a nice walkthrough of how you can apply visualization and analytics concepts, especially in a small business scenario.