Gain the insight you need to make smarter decisions
January 14, 2020
Decision making is challenging, whether you are evaluating contracts for commodities, buying a new car, or evaluating taking a new job. Every day we make decisions in imperfect conditions. Facts go undiscovered, ignored, or misunderstood. Decision makers are compromised by groupthink and swayed by peers and their own biases while balancing conflicting objectives.
To make smart decisions, commodity buyers and sellers must accurately predict future possibilities in imperfect conditions. They must secure the best possible contracts for their companies. This process requires a lot of data collection, manipulation, and analysis, which was historically done in spreadsheets.
We have explored the downside of spreadsheets extensively in previous blogs, but in summary, using spreadsheets to analyze a lot of data takes a long time and results in a lot of mistakes, making decision making much harder.
Today, there is a better way.
The power of the platform
In our last blog, we explored the rise of the digital commodity management platform. Today, we will explore how a commodity management platform can help you make better, faster decisions.
How does it work?
A platform approach moves systems that used to be implemented on premise to the cloud, but it’s more than just a cloud-based software solution. All software built on the platform is fully integrated with other systems. The platform is built on top of a connected data layer to ensure that every application on the platform has real-time, on-demand access to all necessary data. The platform replaces manual data collection and integration with automated data integration and workflows, speeding up processes and enabling better outcomes.
Imagine what this means for running monthly reports. One of our clients had an 82-step broker reconciliation process that took four people five days every month. The company lost 20 workdays each month to creating one report. With Eka’s platform, they click a button and the system automatically gathers all the data and creates the report in minutes.
The implications are twofold. First, having information five days sooner means you can react five days sooner to anomalies and problems. In financial reconciliations, that can result in faster payments and better cash flow.
Second, having the data connected in real time also enables deeper insight, quick analyses, and better decision making.
Gain deeper insight from data
The platform enables advanced analytics, so you can analyze your business thoroughly and completely. Finding anomalies is essential; however, the ability to quickly run analyses to explore the situation further can add even more value. Is this a trend? What other anomalies occurred? How can you prevent the anomalies from recurring? With advanced analytics and real-time data, you can run simulations and determine steps to avoid future problems.
When you can automatically aggregate and analyze data from excel sheets, broker statements, CTRM systems, etc. and use all that data to run fast, accurate analyses, you gain a deeper understanding of your business so you can make smarter decisions.
React faster to new information
Real-time data also enables faster responses to market shifts. Take this example from an earlier blog. Two traders learn about a new tariff early in the afternoon.
The first trader, using the advanced analytics in the platform, ran simulations of various options and assessed the impact of the tariff immediately using some apps on the platform. He quickly analyzed multiple ways to mitigate the risks involved in the new trading scenario and created a new risk mitigation plan in under an hour.
The second trader, using manual analyses, took an entire day to create a risk mitigation plan. Each report had to rely on manual data collection, integration, and analysis. Those extra eight hours result in missed opportunities, because some options open to the first trader may no longer be available to the second one. Too much time has passed.
In today’s volatile commodity markets, you need to move fast. Digitization enables real-time access to data and advanced analytics, but you need to connect all the data with the applications, or the system won’t work. Eka’s platform delivers real-time data, real-time analyses and real-time insight, helping you make smarter, faster decisions.
Mary DeFilippe spends her days creating engaging content – blogs, white papers, articles, and more – that helps readers better understand new technology. She can frequently be found walking around the office listening to heavy metal music while pondering ideas for her next blog.