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Spend Analysis


Spend analysis is a process for gaining insight about the behavior of buyers and suppliers, and then applying that insight to drive quality procurement decisions. Ideally, the spend analysis process:

  • combines data from different payment systems into a common dataset;
  • enhances the dataset by adding a commodity dimension and other key procurement information;
  • provides insightful and powerful tools for examining and analyzing the data.

Conventional spend analysis software has drifted from this ideal. It typically consists of a collection of cleansed and mapped spend transactions, published to a data warehouse every month or quarter, with commingled services for data preparation and refresh.

So what's wrong with that?

Well, where's the "analysis?" By its very nature, spend analysis is a dynamic process, requiring changes to data structure, addition and deletion of analysis dimensions, and constant alteration of roll-up hierarchies and rules. ¬†And, the notion of "one dataset" for spending data is highly limiting, because many different analysis views — especially commodity-specific views — are critical.

The table below itemizes some common customer requests, and how they're (not) handled by today's spend analysis systems.

Customer Request Vendor Response Outcome
I have some (T&E data, cards data, commodity-specific data), and I'd like to build another dataset with it.
  • You'll need another (server, license, implementation contract).
  • We'll have to do it for you.
I need to group my (cost centers, GL codes, business units) differently for a custom analysis.
  • What about the other users? You can't change things out from under them.
  • Assuming all the other users agree, we'll do it for you next (month, quarter) at refresh time.
Download raw transactions. You're on your own.
I need to fix this incorrectly mapped spending, it's messing up all my results.
  • Assuming everyone agrees, we'll do it for you next (month, quarter) at refresh time.
I need to write a new report.
  • We have some canned reports. Maybe one of them will work for you.
  • You can't write reports.
Download raw transactions. You're on your own.

At BIQ, we believe that business users should be empowered to build, modify, manipulate, and analyze their own datasets.

We think data familying and mapping tools — "cleansing" tools — should be accessible to users, not hidden behind closed doors and inaccessible to anyone but the vendor. With BIQ, you can: your own datasets your own spend new dimensions
...alter hierarchies
...create reports and populate models real time, with a simple point-and-click interface.

Naturally, there are BIQ implementation partners who would be delighted to jump-start you and help with constructing datasets. But you can use them as much or as little as you like; dismiss them any time you want; and maintain complete control over your system.