How Analytics can help predict the business response to a crisis

Laurie Roxby

 · 10/04/2022  · 10/04/2022
Read on to discover:
An introduction to Analytics, the all-new spend management tool from Revolut Business

How to use spend trends to analyse your outgoings – and plan for your future

What our data says about where business spend is heading as times get tougher

How can you protect your business from a looming crisis?

All over the world, people are asking themselves the same question. So soon after seemingly navigating a global pandemic, rising costs are set to define the weeks and months ahead. Businesses are now faced with increasingly difficult decisions as they try – quite literally – to keep the lights on.

But despite this, attitudes remain bullish; in the UK, for instance, only 12% of businesses believe their performance will dip over the next 12 months (ONS). Part of this is down to a belief in adaptability. As technology advances, ‘streamlining’ becomes easier for those businesses conscious of rising costs.

One thing to consider? Labour shortages mean that businesses are desperate to keep hold of skilled workers, not lose them. ‘Streamlining’, then, takes on a renewed meaning – focused on efficiencies for existing team members, rather than digital solutions to replace them.

Entering the ‘Age of Efficiency’

Businesses are now investing in products and platforms that can help them become more efficient, rather than on advertising campaigns that may not guarantee solid ROI. Instead of projecting outwards, they are instead looking at internal processes and practices that could be improved or optimised.

How do we know this? Analysing the spending patterns of our customers, we can see that businesses are spending far less (20%) on advertising than this time last year. Software subscriptions have seen an uptick of a similar amount (13%).

For bigger businesses, there is a natural need for greater efficiencies – although there is less of an appetite to reduce spend overall. On the other hand, SMEs have opted to reduce advertising spend considerably.

Businesses in the UK have adopted a slightly more cautious approach; advertising spend has fallen by 23%, while software spend has crept up by 8%. In the US, less so: while advertising spend has dropped by 19%, software spend has more than doubled. European markets such as Germany, France and Spain sit somewhere in between, but the trend remains the same.

In short: Revolut Business data shows that, in reaction to the ‘cost of doing business’ crisis, an ‘Age of Efficiency’ is emerging.

With these factors in mind, it’s clear that managing spend efficiently is a priority. That’s why we’ve built Analytics: a simple, clear way of understanding exactly how your business has been spending over time, what it means and – crucially – how you can plan for the future.

The next few months are going to be testing for finance departments – but there are ways to make life easier. The first step? Analysing your business spend, and then managing it accordingly.

Or, put another way, we were able to understand the spending patterns of companies across the world using detailed data. But what if you could do the same, but focused completely on your business?

Available now to our paid plan customers, Analytics will enable you to do three key things:

Filter your spend by account, time period and team member

See spending breakdowns – also by account and team member, alongside category, merchant and country

Deep-dive down to transaction level to get a granular view of exactly where spend is going

From here, you’ve got the mechanics that power your spend forecast, visible in your app in real-time. Every single transaction from across your business will be fed into the data engine, meaning you can identify key areas of focus with ease – and start projecting for the coming quarters with confidence.

That’s not all, either. Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be rolling out a raft of even more features to make Analytics even more powerful for you and your business.

Still want more?

You’re not alone. The ‘Age of Efficiency’ means companies are starting to get smarter with spending. One way of doing this? Using Revolut Business as their financial operating system.

Analytics, then, is just one piece of the puzzle. Our biggest customers use a growing set of spend management tools within their Revolut Business accounts every single day, covering everything from corporate cards, expense management and that growing vertical: subscriptions.

To get started, you can issue physical or virtual debit cards to your team, regardless of your headcount (each team member can get up to 200 virtual cards, three plastic ones, and those on paid plans can explore Metal options, too). With them, you can spend across specific time periods, right down to the day, category or country.

Once you’ve established spend rules that work for you, save them as presets and apply them to multiple cards in a click. Everything is transparent, and your finance team is in complete control – and only using a fraction of the capacity it’d traditionally take to achieve it.

All of this and more is available now in the Revolut Business app. Interested in learning more? Book a demo with our Sales team via the button below to understand exactly how Revolut Business can work for you.

Spend trends are based on anonymised spend data from Revolut Business customers globally Aug’22 vs Aug’21