How can finance departments and CFOs better support innovation and growth in their companies, in a world defined by constant change, increasing complexity and innovation? This is not a new question but still an interesting and important one.
Successful finance departments are no longer just reporting the numbers and ensuring compliance but are being asked for data and analysis to help shape / make business decisions. A Strategy and Business article: “The Redefined No of the CFO” talks about how CFO’s need to be able to ask the right questions and then provide the right insights.
Today, more data is available to be analyzed by more people; answers are required faster than ever, but that does not mean that the data is easily understood. So getting the data faster is important, but ensuring people can understand the data and make decisions based on it, is what makes it valuable.
This is summarized well in CFO Research 2014 – Creating the value added finance function “decision makers must get information faster, absorb and analyze it faster, and make adjustments faster.”
So what are some key elements to be able to provide the right insight to many decision makers?
- Have data in real time and from many sources, be it transactional and/or analytical information.
- Allow decision makers to access the data themselves wherever they are.
- Enable unlimited flexibility on how to analyze the data and be able to do many what-if analysis and simulations to assess options quickly
To read the full study – go to CFO Research 2014 – Creating the value added finance function