From XU Magazine, 
Issue 20

What is a Digital Assistant? Problems it solves and how it can help your clients make smarter decisions

A digital assistant is an app that connects to Xero and the other apps a business owner uses. The assistant answers questions related to the business owner’s data, performs tasks, notifies the owner when it sees a problem and more… It is the ultimate side-kick when it comes to making good, data-led decisions.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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If you’re an avid XU reader, you know the importance of getting your clients in the cloud and building a great ‘app stack’.

Cloud apps give business owners the ability to access data from anywhere, automate tedious processes, and save time (oh precious time!).

And with nearly 50% of small businesses not making it past the five-year mark, it’s clear that every decision counts and the competition continues to get more complex. Small business owners need to be hyper-focused on getting a better handle on what is happening in and out of the business — making better decisions that keep their customers coming back for more.

In the industries that Aider, the digital assistant for small business, currently serves (Retail and Hospitality) a typical app stack would include: Accounting (Xero), Point-of-Sale, Rostering, Payments, Pay Roll, Social Media and Google Analytics.

All of these cloud-software programs together hold a lot of data, everything a business owner needs to make daily, data-led decisions that, incrementally, can change the company’s survival trajectory.

So what’s the problem? And how can a Digital Assistant help?

Bringing it all together

Problem: All of that business data is in different places. Most apps require a different login and have completely different interfaces. Most business owners are not app experts.

Solution: Aider connects to those apps and allows users to access them all from one place, on their mobile. If a user needs to dig deeper, they can just press a button and we’ll take them to their app dashboard.

Just Ask

Problem: Finding answers to questions for daily decision making can be challenging. The business owner needs to find the data required, often from multiple places and sometimes requiring spreadsheets and calculations. This all takes time.

Solution: Now that all the apps are connected, just ask Aider the question via text, voice-to-text or through a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa. Aider texts you right back with the answer. The business owner instantly has the insights needed to make a data-led decision.

You don’t know what you don’t know

Problem: Business owners often don’t know what to ask.

Solution: We’ve got you! As Aider gets to know a business it will start to notice anomalies in the data. Maybe there’s a drop in sales of a particular product or an employee who is habitually late. These are little things that can make a big difference over time. Aider sends proactive notifications to keep the business owner in the know.

There are several more tasks a Digital Assistant like Aider can help with such as scheduling reminders, giving daily updates, and predicting what the next week will look like, based on past business performance.

In the next issue of XU we'll discuss how Aider is evolving to help with the specific needs of accounting and bookkeeping advisories.

Why leave it there?

Find out more

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