An ongoing focus on data analytics can be highly beneficial to businesses, according to one expert.

Tony Crowhurst, UK business intelligence manager for Microsoft, has said that rather than simply looking at annual figures, firms should adopt a continuous approach to looking at their data.

Mr Crowhurst explained that the methodology applied to this technique can be simplified to a three-step formula.

He commented: “As your actual data comes in, you monitor that against the plan and where there’s discrepancies, you then go in and analyse the discrepancies to see why that happened

“Then you reforecast your plan and it becomes a complete rolling cycle; plan, monitor, analyse, plan, monitor, analyse.”

According to the Aberdeen Group, 69 percent of firms responding to a survey reported that spreadsheets are their primary method for conducting data analysis.

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