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We hear from Fathom, our App Partner of the Month, on making better decisions and using analytics

Posted 4 months ago in Apps by Nick Houldsworth

Every month we recognise one of our 500-plus connected app partners, for the contribution they’re making to our ecosystem. Particularly for the great work they’re doing to help small businesses thrive.

July’s App Partner of the Month is Fathom. Fathom is a reporting and financial analysis tool for business owners and their advisers.

Fathom integrates with Xero to create beautiful management reports and deliver timely business insights. These insights help to track profit, cash flow, growth and other key performance indicators (KPIs). For groups of companies, Fathom also assists with benchmarking and consolidations.

David Watson, co-founder of Fathom, talked to us about how businesses can make better decisions and make the most of analytics.

What are some of the challenges businesses face when it comes to improving decision making?

Without a doubt, we are living in an era of data ‘explosion’. The volume of data and metrics that each business stores in the cloud apps which they use to run their business is increasing at an accelerating rate. This data can be used to provide business managers with insights. These insights help to answer key business questions and identify improvement opportunities. Yet many businesses still struggle to reap the benefits of data-driven decision making. Instead they rely heavily on intuition and gut-feel decision making.

Do you have any tips to overcome these?

The problem isn’t that decision makers lack the data they need, it’s that they don’t have the tools to track and extract meaning from this data. Our belief is that timely reports, which track the metrics that matter most to your business are essential for effective decision-making.

Firstly, it is important for all stakeholders in the business to agree on the right metrics for measuring operating performance. Then we ensure that the business focuses on these metrics. To help track results for these metrics, we recommend implementing a reporting system. Then at a regular frequency, use the insights gained to guide strategic thinking and support better decision-making.

What exactly is analytics, and why is it a useful tool for small businesses?

Whether you call it analytics, business intelligence or management reporting … the goal of Fathom is the same. We aim to help you understand what’s happening in your business, and then help to make better business decisions.

Why did you choose to partner and integrate with Xero?

We’re proud to have partnered with Xero since the launch of Fathom in 2012. We were excited about how cloud accounting would streamline traditional management reporting workflows.

In the past, for many businesses, the process for creating regular management reports has been a time consuming and tedious chore. However, the Xero API ushered in a new era where accounting data could be linked to reporting tools like Fathom – in a matter of seconds.

These efficiency gains effectively remove much of the time-cost of business intelligence reporting. Which allows you to spend less time preparing reports and more time harnessing insights to guide decision-making.

How does your app’s integration with Xero make life easier for small businesses?

Every day Fathom automatically sources the latest financial data for your business from Xero. Fathom then transforms this data into a range of visualisations and reports. They help to assess business performance, monitor trends and identify improvement opportunities.

We believe the old management adage: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” still holds true today. So a major focus of Fathom is helping you to measure the financial and non-financial metrics which matter most for your business.

To learn more, watch this brief overview:

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