The “real time” concept didn’t used to be an issue for businesses. After all, just 20 years ago, infrastructure to conduct business in real time simply wasn’t available.

Back then, shops and offices would close at a designated hour and reopen in the morning. Any customers seeking to complete a transaction after the close of business simply had to wait—they couldn’t go online and order from a competitor.

Now, of course, customers expect virtual round-the-clock availability. That’s why in today’s competitive, fast-paced, and highly networked business environment, access to real-time NetSuite data is essential.

This access can mean the difference between capitalizing on emerging business opportunities—or completely disappointing your customers.

Imagine you’re a sales executive at a company that sells novelty T-shirts, and one of your designs has gone viral. In fact, it’s so popular that it’s selling out of stores everywhere.

Now, if you’re monitoring supply and demand in real time, you’ll see a spike in popularity for this specific item, along with an increasing gap between supply and demand as you sell through your existing stock. Since you have access to this real-time data in NetSuite, you can step in to ramp up production before supplies run too low.

But what if you’re not looking at real-time NetSuite data? What if you instead rely on data aggregates and month-end reports? In that case, you may not realize that you’ve got a runaway best seller on your hands. By the time you connect the dots, it may be too late. The T-shirt may already be backordered, leaving your customers to deal with frustrating out-of-stock messages.

Even worse, by the time you’re able to stock the T-shirt again, the fad may have passed. You may have missed out on substantial sales, all because you neglected to pay attention to real-time data.

The power of real-time data applies no matter what product or service you’re offering. Maybe you’ve created a popular app, but after the latest release, you notice a sudden spike in complaints to the customer service department. When you see that data in NetSuite, it’s a clear indication to investigate further.

Simply accessing real-time NetSuite data only gets you halfway to success. You also have to be able to review the data quickly and make informed decisions. And that’s where a data visualization solution can make all the difference.

Data visualization allows you to pull in relevant data and display it in a way that’s meaningful and easy to understand. Rather than scrolling through endless rows of figures on a spreadsheet, you can create clear charts and graphs that make it easy to spot trends and address areas of concern.

Of course, these real-time data visualizations are also incredibly valuable for internal operations, as well.

The annual review is standard operating procedure at most businesses. But why should managers and employees have to wait a whole year to gauge their performance? With real-time NetSuite data and a robust visual analytics solution, you can create KPI visualizations that show up on everyone’s dashboard. That way, there’s no confusion about who’s performing—and who’s just coasting along.

When combined with a visual analytics solution, NetSuite’s real-time data becomes a powerful tool for making effective, data-driven decisions about virtually every aspect of your business, including sales, supply chain management, customer service, and employee performance.

To learn more about how to leverage NetSuite’s real-time data within your organization, download our latest e-book, “Succeeding in Real Time: How to Make Effective, Data-Driven Decisions in a Complex World.