Chief Financial Officers (CFO) are the stewards of a company’s financial well-being. As companies have realized that shrewd financial management is necessary for sound decision-making, the CFO has proven to be crucial to the growth and success of a company. The role of the CFO has evolved across every aspect of the business which is especially true as companies are becoming more data-driven.

The company adviser with greater data insights

As technology becomes more advanced, CFOs have more access to data. A CFO can now leverage this data for operational and strategic insights across the business including sales and marketing, inventory, and purchasing and pricing to maximize business performance.  What distinguishes the most successful CFOs is the way they make use of data. While some CFOs may rely on gut-instinct and traditional spreadsheet reporting, many more have implemented an analytics solution for a real-time view of every aspect of the company. Data analytics offers practical oversight across domains. 

For instance, ConvaTec, a global medical products and technologies company, the Asia Pacfic CFO is cross-referencing 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 that correlate with their products. With this information, ConvaTec can identify regional trends, determine market share, and respond to changes in government policy.  Analytics solutions like Phocas allow them to add external sources of data to inform their strategies.

Adapting to new technology

A growing shift toward 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 plays a central role in making a smooth transition by developing the strategies to capture important data from various channels. 

Embracing a truly integrated approach to data analytics is a significant undertaking that requires time, research, and commitment. However, CFOs that actively take steps toward becoming data-driven can increase their effectiveness and create meaningful change in their organizations.

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 good analytics 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 more about getting more value from your business data, download our eBook, Dashboards and scorecards.

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Tags: Job Role - Finance

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