Market and industry awareness coupled with experience is invaluable in operationally geared businesses; especially those that are subject to cyclical or seasonal revenue flows. Whilst this will give a good insight into external factors, data and the quantification of performance or trends remains the nadir of prudent decision making. The time delay between calendar month end and senior management receiving reliable performance data is an uncomfortably common scenario. Compound this with an operationally geared business and the data, and decisions made as a result, might seriously lag the actual performance of the organisation. Risk in this scenario is exacerbated where profits are under pressure due to high operational gearing.