8 Analytics Trends to Watch in 2015

Business analytics are becoming 'the air companies breathe and the oceans in which they swim,' according to Deloitte Analytics. These eight trends will dominate the analytics field in 2015.

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6. Striking Gold with Tax Analytics

Deloitte notes that companies have been slow to capture their tax situations and outcomes in structured formats, but a surge in common data sets is making it easier than ever to bring fact-based insights to company taxes. For instance, tax analytics can explain or predict tax levels under particular circumstances.

"More and more, tax departments are taking a proactive approach to tax risk management," Lucker says. "This means using data and initiatives from across the business to generate insights, make fact-based decisions that drive strategy."

With tax analytics, he says, businesses can think differently about tax issues. The can analyze data sets from different parts of the business in a granular way and allow different departments to access a single data source for all their tax information, increasing transparency and accuracy.

"One of our clients was looking for a way to reduce the effort involved in reviewing vendors on a monthly basis over a certain threshold," he explains. "The effort required two people working two weeks out of each month to get the job done. A tax analytics solution reduced that effort significantly, allowing the business to review every transaction for the company in just a few hours' time."

Tax analytics are also simplifying the process of recovering overpaid transaction taxes and helping to prevent future overpayments at the same time.

"Technology and computing power allows for the analysis of terabytes of transactional data to uncover patterns," Lucker says. "Customer behavior and spending patterns can be examined, and forensic methods can uncover fraud, waste and abuse. Double payments and improper payments become easier to identify."

Companies are also developing tax analytic approaches to simulate numerous business scenarios, probabilistic outcomes, decision criteria and other business actions/outcomes.

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