How analytics benefits CFO’s

By: John Walker

Analytics is a powerful tool that, when used properly, can answer the questions at the center of a business operation. By having the right software analytics in place, Chief Financial Officers can accurately forecast the future by processing currently real-time data with past trends, helping balance data on revenue and expenditures with new information on customer trends and marketplace dynamics. Using the latest in Big Data analytics software can expand the role of the CFO and grow the value of the financial team to the organization.

Data categories

Data can come in different categories. There is engagement data, which gives CFOs context for customer interaction through service feedback. Third-party data can be used to add to internal datasets, improving analysis of sales and marketing plans while giving insight into improved strategy and tactics. Another category of data come from internal processes, providing a close look at the business or organization operating procedures. These datasets are mostly used to find cost reductions and managing fiscal planning to create better productivity and efficiency.

Improved insight with software

Analytics software gives a CFO the insight to see what challenges an organization will face in the coming years, as well as how the organization can meet those challenges. Analytics can tell the CFO what products or services they may need, how to price these services, how to allocate resources and where to find weaknesses in business models. Big Data Analytics can also provide frequent forecasting, allowing the organization to quickly change tactics for sales, product development, customer service and marketing strategies.

Speed separates the competition

Regardless of the goal, to get the most value from analytics and to differentiate an organization from the competition, the key is speed. While some organizations update datasets on a daily basis, the organizations with real-time data collection have an advantage when using analytics. Other factors also make an impact on how well analytics can improve an organization’s operations, including the quality of the questions posed, the capability of an organization to gather answers to those questions, the integrity of the data once it’s collected and the ability to use that data to gain insight that can be useful.

CFOs that learn to utilize Big Data can get a better picture of operations through the wide array of new information flowing into the organization. More data isn’t necessarily better data, as sometimes, additional information doesn’t help to produce any better results. Successful use of data analytics depends on information management. CFOs should evaluate what datasets produce information that is actionable, reducing unnecessary details that can interfere with effective plan making. Advanced software packages can help CFOs make the most from the flood of data running through their operation.

CFOs already positioned on analytics

CFOs and their financial teams already have roles that make them ideal candidates to lead their company or organization in implementing Big Data analytics solutions through advanced software solutions. Their mission of overseeing the budget already gives them an advantage of working with detailed data and leveraging that information to find efficiencies.  It’s ideal for analysing price points, customer trends, inventory management, returns on investments, business strategies, and long-range planning. With analytics, CFOs can plan prepare responses for marketplace changes that may not have even happened yet, simply by setting “trigger” points that are set to launch changes in strategy or tactics.

By taking a leading role in Big Data analytics through the use of advanced software applications, CFOs can increase its role in the organization by providing crucial information on nearly every aspect of the business or organization, from financial performance to pricing to improving margins and assessing risk.