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one advice to nordic companies

Dare to trust data – data-driven decision-making is all about choices

Data-driven leadership is often made too difficult. In the end, it's all about using the available data and daring to trust the data when making decisions. Accountor's way of data-driven decision-making can solve a company's success in an uncertain economic situation, and help decision-making more broadly in our society.

When the society began to close down at the start of the covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, all companies had to think about what kind of measures the new situation required. Based on the lessons from the previous crises – and perhaps also based on emotions – many companies ended up laying off employees and implementing various cost-cutting measures. However, this may have been short-sighted, as it is likely that better results would have been achieved by utilising the available data.

At Accountor, which specialises in financial and human resource management services and software solutions, we relied on existing data in our decision-making. We realised that our success as a company depends on the success of our customers, and we set out to find out how our customers are doing. Accountor has a significant cross section of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as customers in Finland, which is also a truly representative sample of the Finnish society.

When we realised that we have comprehensive real-time financial data, we wanted to use it to help both companies and society in Finland.

Data on the changes in the number of purchase and sales invoices of the companies showed that consumer demand recovered very quickly after the closure to an almost normal level. By trusting the data, we decided as a company to continue investing in product development, marketing and sales instead of saving and cutting costs. Our financial development and growth continued to be stable.

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Real-time data for the benefit of customers

As an expert organisation, we strive to integrate data-driven decision-making directly to the user experience. When we find that it would be beneficial for our customer company to act in a special way, we tell them or modify our own products to best serve the customer. When the hospitality industry suffered during the covid-19 pandemic, we supported companies in the industry, because based on the data, we realised that the industry would soon start to recover.

By analysing business data, we get a realistic picture of the prevailing situation and are able to predict the future for the benefit of companies and their personnel. Based on our industry-specific analyses, our experts are able to help companies understand their own situation and avoid financial wrecks.

Talouspuntari financial analysis for everyone's use

When we realised that we have comprehensive real-time financial data, we wanted to use it to help both companies and society in Finland. Since April 2020, our monthly real-time data report on the state of companies in Finland has been distributed free of charge not only to authorities and policy makers, but also to banks' chief economists, the media and other parties who need it. Anyone can see the monthly cycle in which we live from our Talouspuntari financial analysis.

The real-time data collected in our Talouspuntari shows that the war in Ukraine has not affected the growth of SMEs, as was initially feared. For example, the June report states that the turnover of the SME sector increased by 11.8 percent compared to the previous year. Of the industries, only health and social services remained below the previous year's level. The hospitality industry, art and entertainment, and the event industry are recovering at a good pace from the crisis of the covid-19 era. The growth in turnover is also driven by accelerated inflation, which partly brings gray clouds over the SME sector. The growth of cash sales already above the level of 2019 indicates that consumer confidence is still at a good level.

This type of analysis is now available to all Finnish companies. With the help of the data, companies can themselves draw conclusions about the state of their own industries and avoid serious business mistakes. Information is available – so dare to trust the data in your decision-making!

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