Innovations: The crystal ball for business decisions

Five years ago, John Markworth, executive vice president of Pewaukee-based Connection Strategies Enterprises Inc. (CSEI), decided that the company needed to start looking at making business decisions in a different way.

“Traditionally business decisions about product lines, hiring/firing employees, and raises are made by analyzing trends, and mapping out decisions made in the past,” Markworth said. “Today’s business world changes too quickly, and so we’ve developed a tool that will allow a real time report that projects the impact of the decisions made into the future.”

Windshield Analytics was originally developed as an in-house product, that would help CSEI make decisions about the clients they work with, the number of employees they have and more, said Adonica Randall, president of CSEI.

Now, Windshield Analytics is being developed to feature different industry specific modules that are marketed toward specific industries that can purchase the product for their own uses.

“A few years ago, nobody cared about future projections. The traditional ways of analyzing market trends were sufficient,” Randall said. “Now that everyone is pinching pennies though, and looking for ways to save, Windshield Analytics can be used predicatively rather than historically.”

Historical and analytical data is not as accurate or as pliable to today’s market trends, she said.

Windshield Analytics takes into account historical data but is also able to predict what is going to happen if the company makes a certain decision, Markworth said.

“Using Windshield Analytics, a company can see what time of the year they can add or lose employees, without losing too much money,” Randall said. “They can also decide if the company should hire an additional full time employee, or if it would be more cost effective to pay certain individuals time and a half.”

The tool can also be used to test product development, determine when a company should release a product to a specific market, see if the company is calculating the margins correctly or doing their budget planning correctly.

Windshield Analytics allows companies to see quantitative data for things they might intuitively already know, Markworth said.

“Most executives know that doing business with a particular distributor, at a particular cost barely allows them to break even,” he said. “This tool allows them to come up with viable options for a solution, or ways to better the situation, and provides quantitative data to back it up. You can’t always take intuition into a board room, or to the bank.”

Windshield Analytics allows a company to compile bank projection reports, income statements, and cash flow documents. 

According to Randall, the product can also be linked directly to a company’s accounting software so it will update automatically every month.

“Traditional analytics assumes that every person’s time is equal, which everybody knows that is not the case,” Randall said. “Windshield analytics allows a company to take into account many different facets, including productivity percentages, hourly wages, and benefits for each individual employee.”

CSEI has created a set of standard modules for industries that the software can be applied to including service, construction, distribution, departmental budgeting, non-profit organizations, associations, recruiting ROI, sales ROI, product ROI, customer retention ROI, and lean organizational right-sizing. It can also be customized to calculate ROI against metrics for any company’s environment, Markworth said.

A demo of the product can be viewed at:

Windshield Analytics works with standard desktop products, or can be accessed as a web application. Companies can purchase the application for a subscription cost of $500 a month or can purchase the base product, including customized modules starting at $5,000, Randall said.

“Companies can also purchase the product on a consulting basis, where we would plug in all the numbers and generate the reports for them,” she said. 

“The service allows companies to see real time quantitative data, that should support the business decisions they are making each day,” Markworth said. “It is very enlightening to be able to capsulate this data into formulas that allow you to see the outcome of a decision before you make it, before you are out of business and it’s too late to go back.”

Connection Strategies Enterprises Inc.


Innovation: Windshield Analytics

Founded: 1979

Employees: 100

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