Xero, the New Zealand-based accounting software company, has unveiled a new product that will allow small businesses to enter the realm of big data.
The company’s business performance dashboard, unveiled June 3 at its Xero-Con in Denver, lets smaller companies understand how their businesses are performing and make decisions based on that data.
Angus Norton, Chief Product Officer for Xero says in a news release:
“Business owners who can get insights into their business at a glance to make smart and informed decisions, will be better positioned to grow and compete in their respective markets. Big data is no longer only in the domain of big business, and with this service small businesses can spot issues early, take control of their business, and collaborate easily with advisers to enhance their overall performance.”
In an interview with Small Business Trends, Norton said Xero — working with accountants and small business owners — came up with eight performance metrics based on issues they felt were important for business owners.
“If you’re a small business what you care most about is cash flow,” Norton said.
With the dashboard, small business owners can have an easier time staying on top of their transactions.
“There’s so much data,” Norton said.
In the past, small business owners would need to use traditional software to keep track of their performance, and gather data from a range of sources.
In its release, Xero says:
“This process can be costly and time consuming, and the charts are often out of date by the time they are produced. Xero eliminates this process by automating the analysis of financial data and presenting easy to understand, key performance indicators that are always accessible through its online accounting platform.”
With the dashboard, business owners can study key metrics on simple graphs, telling them about things such as gross profit, accounts receivable and payable days, debt to equity ratios and inventory turnover.
Business owners can also click on each graph to get more detail on how the dashboard calculated each metric. giving them more transparency into how their companies operate.
It shows how a business performs from month to month, and helps business owners spot longer-term trends that may not be immediately obvious.
Xero says it looks to expand the dashboard’s capabilities in the future.
CEO Rod Drury says in a release:
“The opportunity to further leverage big data for small businesses is really exciting. By digging deeper into the data in Xero we will soon deliver additional tools like bench-marking, which will allow businesses to understand their environment and see how they are performing in their industry or region.”
The business performance dashboard is available now as part of Xero’s small business accounting solution, which starts at $9 per month.