How to Manage Information Effectively Through SaaS Tools

Imagine this: Your company recently thought about launching a new product. They’ve aligned the tasks, delegated them to you and your team members accordingly, and started the production process. Your owner plans to roll-out the first batch in the market in a few weeks.

As the production process works in its full might, you notice a loss of profits. What’s worse? Profit margins look inefficient to let the production process continue efficiently. With this scenario at hand, your company decides to cut the production cost to avoid further loss.

Do you understand what happened?

In case you feel a little lost, let me explain what initially went wrong…

Before rolling out their new product in the market, this particular organization missed on a few points mentioned here:

  1. Will the product match the needs and demands of its target audience?
  2. Whether the product is better than its competitors?
  3. Whether the cost of production should be covered from the profits received through other products or should a separate fund be generated to avoid any hitches?
  4. Understanding different bottlenecks that might arise during the production process?
  5. Is there plan B, in case the product does not perform well in the market?

… and so on. When a project is commenced, all these concerns are discussed during the initiation phase. Only then can a project team go ahead with the tasks planning and execution phases.

But hang on.

While all the above concerns are important and should be discussed during the initiation phase, one cannot decide on any point without any valid and reliable information and its proper analysis.

So ask this question to yourself with a new perspective and undoubtedly the most logical one:

“Did my organization fail to incorporate well-thought-out data analysis before initiating the project?”

After all, we cannot move ahead making impulsive decisions in business. We need proper data management – data storage and analysis.

The Relevance of Data Analysis in Business

The decisions made by the businesses are heavily reliant on data and its analysis.

While working through a project, right from its conception to the final phase, companies ensure using analytical and statistical tools to get pivotal information that helps them reach the final deliverable of a project successfully.

Organizations focus on hiring data analysts to get access to accurate information. These specialists provide in-depth information after completing a thorough process of recording, analyzing and dissecting the data, and finally presenting the outcomes in a readable manner for all, which are later used by team members working on the project.

Basically, they offer understandable insights that are arrived at after following steps like:

  • Understanding the objectives and business direction
  • Exploring the meaning behind figures in data
  • Analyzing the cause and effect of specific scenarios on data findings
  • Delivering meaningful insight in easy to understand the language
  • Contributing to a decision-making process by providing educated opinions

However, there are various challenges that companies and their data analysts can come across if the data isn’t managed correctly. Some of these challenges commonly involve data breach, lack of storage facility, no data ownership, inaccurate management systems, human bias and errors, inefficient matching and more.

And these lead to some significant business disruptions like:

  • Under utilization of assets
  • Mismatch between supply and demand chain
  • Fragmented data
  • Negative impact on R&D process of a business
  • Biased and limited decisions

However, with the technological revolution, data disruption throughout a project can quickly get mitigated by the use of SaaS tools. But before we dive into the different SaaS tools, it is essential to understand what SaaS tools are.

What are SaaS Tools?

Software as a service (SaaS) is a model where software is licensed to the users on a subscription basis and get centrally hosted by the company offering them. This on-demand software model has gained popularity and according to the researchers at Forrester, it’s market is expected to grow to massive $236 billion by 2020 (as compared to $114 billion worth market in 2016).

Several SaaS tools are available that help us manage information and provide a great amount for analytics that can be used during the initiation phase of a project effectively. These SaaS tools lead and utilize any (from meager to magnanimous) amount of information with great ease.

Broadly, SaaS tools help in:

  • Acquiring information
  • Storing and sharing information
  • Utilizing information

Let’s discuss some of those tools in detail below.

Different SaaS Tools for Information Management

1. Live Chat Software: To acquire information

To acquire data, you first need to know your customers and target audience better. And what other tools help you do it better than a live chat software. With the use of live support tool, your support team can acquire data like:

  1. Number of leads received through a specific page
  2. Number of conversions took place through a particular page
  3. Number of visitors who interacted with your support team every day
  4. Chat ratings for different support operators
  5. Understanding the needs and the changes they want in the existing product
  6. New product suggestions
  7. Number of sales increased with the use of chat software
  8. Number of visitors who left the cart before check out

And much more.

All customer data gets stored with the organizations through a live chat tool with the help of a robust CRM integration. This integration helps chat operators recognize previous visitors and help them address their queries while keeping track of their old pain-points.

2. Knowledge Base Software: For information storage, sharing

Data storage and management can also be performed with a robust online knowledge base software. However, this knowledge management software can have varied uses. It can be used to create:

  1. Online FAQs
  2. User guides for employees
  3. “How to” documentation which comes with a step-by-step guide
  4. Wiki software
  5. Help authoring documentation that can be created in PDF or HTML formats

Besides these, there are other use cases too where a knowledge base software turns out to be a perfect option for information management.

For example, those new to the existing project will find the use of an online manual handy. The new project members won’t need extra time in meetings to understand the basics of a project. All they have to do is go through the project manual and help the team work towards their existing tasks to reach the final deliverable in a hassle-free manner.

3. Project Management Software: For utilizing meaningful information to improve the process

With the use of a simple project management software or task management tool, companies easily get to keep track of:

  1. Files shared with the clients, remote team members, and in-house teams
  2. Task delegation process and ask the respective team member in charge about the progress made on the task assigned to them
  3. Time taken for the entire project and see its bifurcation to know which tasks took more time than the decided due date
  4. Client invoices and send them either after the completion of every task or the project
  5. Reports, how the team is performing and the overall progress report of the project which can later be shared with the shareholders and the organization
  6. Project estimates and expenses that are incurred over the estimated budget for the project

… and more. The inclusion of such features makes a project management software the perfect tool to save and manage project information. What’s more? This cloud-based software is a great way to avoid challenges like data theft, storage issues, and human errors.

To sum it up

An organization can only make right decisions if it has the right guidance towards a particular action. And to understand whether that particular action will turn out to be beneficial for their organization can only be decided if they have the right information to support it.

However, acquiring the right information is not the end of the discussion. Analyzing it and getting actionable insights on how the decision regarding a project or the entire project may pan out is equally important. After all, we are in a competitive market that survives significantly on data analysis today.

With the use of right tools and a team of analysts, organizations attain data which is further scrutinized to achieve outcomes that help them take correct decisions for their business. Except, sometimes they fall short on managing the refined data that later gets subjected to human biases or errors. Such challenges lead to disruptions in the decision-making process that further impact the deliverable of a project.

But wait, we can avoid such disruptions easily with the use of SaaS tools.

Over the years, tools like live chat, knowledge base, project management software, and others have proven to be a boon for organizations to store and manage pivotal data that helps them make decisions with complete accuracy. Therefore, if your organization has been facing difficulties while managing data, then it is high time you integrate SaaS tools like these to avoid losses in future.

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About the author

Robin Singh
Robin Singh

Robin is a Technical Support Executive. He is an expert in knowledge management and various knowledge base tools. Currently, he is a resident knowledge management expert at ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys cycling and sky diving.