Consider the business books of yesteryear: Many of the titles will make you wince — if you remember them at all. In general, management gurus’ trendy concepts and buzzwords don’t age well, according to EPM Channel, a website focused on enterprise performance management news and insights. Even in accounts payable management, fads come and go. As more organizations jump on the “big data” bandwagon, are analytics initiatives just another example of management hype?

As a management tool, analytics have long-term prospects, according to EPM. Here are three reasons analytics are here to stay:

  1. Staying competitive means looking past obvious improvements. A successful organization is always taking steps to streamline inefficient processes and reduce obvious waste. As a result, companies need to dig deeper for ways to get an edge on the competition, and analytics provides accounts payable management with the necessary transparency and tools to keep improving data presentation.
  2. Increased complexity and less room for error. As organizations face rapid changes both internally and in the global marketplace, even the best managers need to rely on data, not intuition, to guide their decisions. In the past, companies could make mistakes and keep going, but that margin of error is shrinking. The stakes in decision-making are rising in the era of lean operations and global competition.
  3. The technology is available. As computing power and data storage grow more robust and affordable, software like Chrome River ANALYTICS can unlock insights and predictions in unprecedented detail. If your organization doesn’t take advantage of it, others certainly will.

Management goes through fads, and AP management is hardly immune to them. The EPM Channel article makes a compelling case for the long-term value of “big data” projects and analytics technology. An easy first step for your organization might be mining your expense reports for insights such as the true cost of sales, travel policy compliance as it relates to revenue, or even travel policy compliance and employee retention.

We’d like to hear from you. Which aspects of “big data” do you see as hype, and which offer significant value? Share your thoughts below in the comments section!


Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care. Sally Abella, Director of Corporate Travel Harman International
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic. Ben Zastrow Zelle