Data: the next challenge for procurement

July 23th, 2020
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To improve performance, procurement departments are now focusing on data. This is the message of Ardent Partners' latest study "Procurement Metrics that Matter in 2020". Indeed, 40% of procurement decision makers believe that better data visibility and analytics will help them create more value.

Ready-to-use data strategies

With the development of automation tools, mobile solutions, cloud applications and even smart devices, the volume of data created around the world is growing exponentially. More than ever, companies need to become data-driven, which means relying on data to make their decisions and guide their development.

The momentum seems to be building in procurement departments: 39% of procurement decision makers surveyed said they have a data strategy in place, compared with 42% who planned to implement one and 19% with no data strategy. Best-in-class companies are leading by example, with 60% having launched a data management plan.

Data requires skills

Companies will also need experts to analyse and exploit this considerable amount of data. Although procurement has strong analytical capabilities, it must now move towards data science.

According to the study, only 7% of procurement decision makers believe that their companies have excellent data control. This means that there is a lot of room for manoeuvre, which impacts both training and recruitment.

Turning data into value

Many companies are still struggling to manage their data effectively and turn it into truly useful information. In procurement departments, data is typically used to improve category and contract management, monitor savings or optimise sourcing. It isn't hard to envisage data eventually being used to guide decision makers' strategic choices.

More than ever, procurement departments are focusing on data to create value and accelerate the digital transformation of their companies — a priority that remains relevant amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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