Chief Financial Officers (CFO) are the stewards of a company’s financial well-being. As leaders realize that wise financial management is necessary for sound decision-making, the CFO is crucial to the growth and success of a company. The role of the CFO has evolved across every aspect of a business primarily as a company becomes more data-driven and adopts a BI strategy. The finance team has always turned to data to answer its questions, so if you are considering upgrading or investing in a business intelligence platform, it will be prudent to get them involved so the whole business can work with the same solution and benefit from their expertise.
A BI strategy provides greater data insights
As technology becomes more advanced, everyone has more access to data and in the case of the CFO's office - they can now review operational as well as financial information. A CFO can now leverage this data for strategic insights across the business including sales and marketing, inventory, and purchasing and pricing to enhance business performance. What distinguishes the most successful companies is the way they make use of data, when they can get a real-time view of every aspect of the company. Business intelligence offers practical oversight across domains.
ConvaTec, a global medical products and technologies company includes a business intelligence solution in its commercial armoury and the CFO helps determine what data from the ERP and other sources gets analyzed. The CFO for the Asia Pacific region cross-references financial results with external data; such as the number of public and private hospitals in each region and the number of people who suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes and Crohn’s disease to correlate with its products. With this relevant information in the BI solution, ConvaTec can identify regional trends, determine market share, and respond to changes in government policy. A BI solution like Phocas allow them to add external sources of data to inform its broader Australian and New Zealand strategies.
Adapting to new technology
A growing shift toward digitization means the cloud, e-commerce and artificial intelligence is driving more companies to generate a wealth of data, creating both opportunity and challenge for those in charge of collating and analyzing it. A CFO needs to play a central role in making a smooth transition by developing the strategies to capture important data from various channels so the business can be aware of changes to cashflow, declining customers and reaching revenue targets.
Embracing a truly integrated approach to a BI strategy is a significant undertaking that requires time, research, and commitment. However, CFOs that actively take steps toward being even more data-driven with a BI solution can increase their effectiveness and create meaningful change in their organizations.
Financial dashboards help communicate results
The ability to access a centralized view of multiple data sources may seem complicated, but can be achieved via a dashboard. A dashboard is an efficient solution to viewing the business indicators relevant to a department or product. For instance, sales reps can quickly view their sales figures and targets, as well as customer information. Managers can see at a glance how their department is performing or drill down into the underlying data that sits behind the dashboard.
CFOs can offer easy-to-use analytics to employees in any area of the business, whether at executive level or business unit level. Employees are confronted with dozens of questions every day and business intelligence provides the information they need to make data-driven decisions. As more companies adapt to a data-driven culture, they come to recognize that the guidance of a CFO is vital to their continued success.
To learn about getting more value from your business data, download the Modern financial planning and analysis ebook.