As budget season gets closer, expense reduction becomes a more critical goal every day. While no business ever wants to overspend, driving down operating costs and increasing productivity are two especially important goals right now. Reducing costs while maintaining and even enhancing productivity and quality is often a balancing act – highly skilled employees and effective solutions often come with a price tag to match. So, how do you do more with less?

Data analytics can enable expense reduction and allow you to manage the process along the way. Cost analytics can help identify the best opportunities for strategic cost reduction by providing decision makers with actionable, timely information. By identifying key cost drivers for the business, cost analytics can provide insight on how changing spending behaviors will affect the bottom line.

Although implementing a new cost analytics and reporting solution comes with its own costs, the right solution can pay for itself. The data-driven decisions based on the insights provided by the solution can reduce spending and allocate resources much more cost effectively. For example, using analytics to manage vendors can improve vendor compliance. By creating visibility into BPO vendor staffing and scheduling, the BPO Optimizer enables the user to make sure that the standards in the Service Level Agreement are being met, or if Service Level Agreements need to be renegotiated. BPO Optimizer also allows the user to compare different vendors using standardized metrics such as adherence, which is often difficult due to different calculation methods. This also streamlines the BPO vendors’ processes as well, since the BPO Optimizer automatically and programmatically captures the necessary data. BPO vendors no longer need to allocate resources to recording, formatting, and transferring this data manually to their client, improving productivity and reducing human error.

Data analytics can also improve internal accountability. Cost analytics and data visualization can discover insights into current processes and policies. In a case study ethosIQ performed for a client, the client knew that their productivity could be higher, but needed help discovering the key opportunity. Through insights discovered by ethosIQ’s data collection and analytics tools, the client was able to transform an average of nearly 30 minutes of unproductive time per agent to productive time. This opportunity would probably never have been discovered without data analytics since all the systems involved were siloed, with no communication. By creating a single, comprehensive source and view, ethosIQ’s data analytics tools were able to discover insight into an opportunity that was resolved with a simple policy change.

Predictive analytics can also help with new policies or process changes. Using predictive models to create “what-if” scenarios can allow management to test out changes without affecting the operations of the actual contact center. This is only possible because a good analytics solution pulls together data from multiple, disparate sources such as HR, billing, and back office solutions as well as the usual software sources. By combining this data, your analytics solution discovers insights that would often go unnoticed, enabling smarter, data driven decision.

Implementing a data analytics solution is vital to measuring and managing your business effectively. It allows you to do more with less – it enables decisions that can move nonproductive spend to productive spend, illuminates hidden opportunities, and creates visibility into vendors. The insights created are invaluable, and they allow management to identify key opportunities to cut costs without affecting the quality of service. A data analytics solution is invaluable, now more than ever, when it comes to increasing efficiencies and driving down operating costs.