Data Visualization and Reporting Software to make internationalization decision-making processes increasingly cost-effective

The ExportPlanning's tools are supporting an increasing number of data-driven decision-making processes


Planning Bestpractice Internationalisation Check performance International marketing Data visualization Internationalisation tools

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Internationalizing a firm involves choices that present high opportunities but also high risks.
Selling into a new market may enable the firm to implement strong differentiation strategies and intercept a large demand willing to pay a significant premium price for the quality offered.
At the same time, however, entering the market may require skills not always present in the firm. In addition, competitors may have competitive advantages that cannot be replicated by the firm. The specifics of a new market thus offer greater opportunities, but also present greater risks.

The importance of transparent and shared
decision-making processes...

The greater degree of uncertainty suggests a company organization capable of reacting promptly to unforeseen situations. A fundamental tool for achieving this goal is the use of a transparent and shared decision-making process. In fact, only decisions obtained in a transparent way and with the participation of all corporate functions can be quickly remodulated in the face of unforeseen facts, while still guaranteeing a compact and coherent corporate response.

..based as much as possible
on objective and documented elements.

Participation and transparency are certainly necessary, but not sufficient. Equally important is the information set on which decisions are based, which must be numerical and as objective as possible, such as to be a basis for comparison between the various actors involved, bearers of different experiences and interests.
However, the people involved in the decision-making process are not always equally capable of translating the data into the necessary information. In this case, it is fundamental to transform the data into information, through the use of appropriate IT tools.

In recent years there has been a strong development of two types of IT tools useful for supporting internationalization decision-making processes, generally referred to as Data Visualization (or Dataviz ) and Reporting Software1.

Data Visualization

In very simple terms, Data Visualization techniques consist in transforming data into graphic images that allow the signal contained in it to be read more easily. Furthermore, Data Visualization, by inserting the image in a context, allows the data to be transformed into information useful for a decision-making process.

Examples of ExportPlanning tools

The ExportPlanning platform makes various Data Visualization tools available to the user:

  • Exportpedia: is an environment for displaying trade data of the ExportPlanning Information System, which allows you to select and represent in graphical and tabular form the Dimensions and Measures of following databases:
    • Italian Trade Data
    • Worldwide Yearly Trade Data (online soon)
    • Worldwide Quarterly Trade Data (online soon)

Exportpedia: example screen

  • Market Barometer: is an environment for displaying foreign trade declarations by market and competitor countries, which allows you to monitor the evolution of a given market, in terms of evolution of imports from a given product/importing country, and the main competitor countries operating there.
    Furthermore, thanks to the possibility of uploading one's data, a user company is able to use this tool to evaluate its results on foreign markets in real time, using the performance of the major competitor countries as a benchmark. The data is updated quarterly to keep up with the latest import trends for selected industries, sectors and products.

Market Barometer: example screen

Quarterly import evolution Evolution of competitor countries
  • Exchange Rates: is a visualization environment of the daily evolution of 120 currencies, which allows you to monitor the evolution of a currency, in terms of exchange rate against the euro, against the dollar and the effective exchange rate. The use of moving averages with different periodicities makes it possible to highlight the different trends (short/medium/long term) in progress for the currency in question.

Exchange Rates: example screen

Reporting Software

The Reporting Software tools allow you to expand the benefits of Data Visualization, through the combination of multiple visual elements and, possibly, also qualitative elements that allow you to produce a wider set of information than that which can be expressed through the graphic only.

Examples of ExportPlanning tools

The ExportPlanning platform makes various Reporting Software tools available to the user2:

  • Rep-Tool: is a tool that helps in-depth knowledge of the main markets and competitor countries of interest, through the production of ready-to-use reports at a Country-, Product- (customs code or aggregate of codes), Market- (given by the combination of importing country and Product), Competitor- (given by the combination of exporting country and Product) level;

Rep-Tool: example screen

  • Int'l Business Plan: allows you to draft a document of the "Foreign Plan" type by combining, in a single editing environment, the different outputs that can be extracted using the other ExportPlanning tools.

Int'l Business Plan: example screens

    The tool allows you to have a "checklist" type of support for an optimal creation of a Foreign Plan, and to draft and manage in a shared way a Foreign Plan document having the following content structure:
    • Executive Summary
    • Corporate Analysis
    • Market Selection
    • Target Market Analysis
    • Market Entry Strategy
    • Marketing Mix
    • Economic & Financial Objectives
    • Action Plan.

The use of Data Viz and Reporting Software tools
to support data-driven planning
of Small and Medium Enterprises

Specialized consultancy supply systems and dedicated tools such as those reported in this article can make it possible to significantly reduce the cost associated with strategic planning processes for internationalization, also allowing Small and Medium Enterprises to create structured paths and as data-driven.

1) The business area that has mostly used these tools is Business Intelligence, understood in a broad sense as the set of activities that make it possible to transform data, internal and external to the company, into business information to support decision-making processes.
2) In 2022 the ExportPlanning platform, through its Reporting Software tools, allowed the production of 5661 reports, of which 2134 of the "Int'l Business Plan" type. This is certainly a high number and in significant growth if compared with 2021, when the number had been 4534 reports produced (of which 824 Int'l Business Plans).