Procurement Spend Analytics: Where Your BI Tool Falls Short

Business Intelligence (BI) is everywhere — and many claim it can do everything. But when it comes to procurement spend analytics, can a BI tool measure up?

At some point, we’ve all encountered that guy. The one who acts like they know what they’re talking about when it comes to an important and complicated topic. In reality, they’ve really only read the headline and maybe the first two sentences of one deep article. They talk a big talk, but when you express interest and start to drill down into detail, you see them struggle. Eventually, that person goes in circles until they have to admit it: they have no idea what they’re actually talking about.

Have you ever had that same type of feeling with the tools you use within your organization? When something has “intelligence” in its name, you would expect it to work intelligently, and in your favor. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Especially with BI tools.

After a lot of drilling into detail and going in similar circles trying to make your BI tool work, you might have the sense that…it doesn’t really know what it’s talking about, either. What makes it worse? You’re not the only one who’s affected; all your relevant stakeholders are likely frustrated. We know how you feel.

The Challenges of Using a BI Tool for Procurement Spend Analytics

Spend visibility is crucial for any successful procurement team. If any of the following challenges sound familiar with your organization’s spend analysis, you may want to make friends with a dedicated procurement spend analytics software like SpendHQ instead:

I can build beautiful reports with great visuals for my spend analytics, but I don’t have confidence in the data.

Just like that person who talks in circles, do you ever get the sense that you’re just not seeing the whole picture with your spend data? Unfortunately, data can be messy. Not to mention when various stakeholders come into play who all look at it differently. You need a tool that keeps the data uniform and up to date. “Visibility” of spend data is not enough — you need accurate data that helps you set strategy and execute on it.

We struggle with data analytics. It takes too much time to consolidate the data and match fields.

You and your team have enough on your plates every day. Even when you have good data, you need a procurement spend analytics software tool that can help put it all into one place for you to use. No matter the vertical or size of the company, SpendHQ can help you get deep insights into the categories in question.

I need a report that has everything in one place: category codes, vendor type, ERP number, direct/indirect materials, total spend.

Neither you nor your team have the time to consult countless spreadsheets and reports to create that full picture you’re looking for. You deserve not only standard sourcing and procurement reports, but also unique reports that are meaningful to your specific business.

The right procurement spend analytics software makes this easy with out-of-the-box reporting that follows a strategic procurement framework. Spend by suppliers, geographies, and more can be presented within and across indirect categories (e.g., T&E, contingent labor, real estate, MRO), select direct categories (e.g., paper, adhesive), and subcategories. Your spend analytics tool can get granular with your understanding of company spend without having to be a math or tech wizard — something your BI tool doesn’t easily enable.

Our data is all over the place; each team member interprets the fields differently, and the menus and catalogs are out of date.

Procurement isn’t going to rely on a regularly inaccurate catalog or necessarily consider best practices when under pressure on a strict timeline — the show must always go on. You’ll want to identify how much spend, by category, could potentially violate your organization’s policies (or even industry standards). BI is a generalist tool. It simply just isn’t built to do this specialization, and the work it would take to get it to that state is costly, with the knowledge to do it in a way that truly supports procurement hard to find.

Shore Up Your Spend Visibility with SpendHQ — Not Your Generalist BI Tool

First things first: the best practice is to start with good data — that means all spend from all sources, cleansed and normalized. You need it to be high-quality and sourcing-caliber. We get you: SpendHQ was built by sourcing professionals for sourcing professionals. It’s backed by experts. With the right formula of good data, organization, visibility and predictive analytics, our tool is the real deal when it comes to spend analytics.

SpendHQ gives procurement professionals instant access to accurate information that helps them identify and address maverick spend. The number of times your procurement team has paid too much for a given item or with a given supplier will be made obvious, and spend trends can be detected within a given timeframe, down to line-item detail. In other words, make SpendHQ your tail-spend sidekick before anything gets out of hand.

Enough with the not-so-intelligent tools. Let us walk you through SpendHQ. We’ll also help evaluate what current solutions you may already have in place. Not only will you get new views into your spend — we’ll figure out together if SpendHQ is the right solution for you.

Think outside the box with us. See what SpendHQ can do for you.


See where else BI falls short for procurement spend analytics.

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search

Business woman thinkingRoad to city pictured with text overlay "Welcome to New Era of Spend Optimization"