Finance leaders are ready for modern data strategies

Data empowers finance leaders with a clear vision and focused strategy to improve operational efficiencies in our increasingly challenging world.

In the not too distant past, the Chief Financial Officer’s primary responsibility was to prepare financial plans at the beginning of the year and report on the progress of those plans to understand cash flow and liquidity. This would slow down or give the green light to strategic spending. In many ways, this careful tracking of metrics marked the birth of business intelligence. It was the beginning of balanced scorecards, financial metrics, and careful tracking of plan and actuals.

In a world of accelerating business velocity, increasing market risk and accelerating digital transformation, forward-thinking organizations are now demanding more from CFOs. Today’s CFOs are evolving from accounting leaders to strategic partners on the journey to business growth. This partnership is increasingly revolving around analytics. CFOs are asked to predict market conditions and currency risk, improve real-time credit modeling, and provide much more real-time feedback on the effectiveness of corporate strategies. They have been saddled with a lot, requiring a transition from the batch-oriented data warehouse world to something far more modern and nimble.

If CFOs are to meet the challenges of the current climate, they need modern strategies and solutions that leverage real-time data and analytics to make more timely and accurate decisions.

See what behavioral data can do for you. [Watch demo now]

See also: What will Finance 2.0 look like? Some surprises

Real-time data and analytics – an integral part of any financial strategy

The first task of every finance leader is to make smart decisions based on the numbers. What has changed is the expectation around the speed of these decisions. Monthly and quarterly analyzes were the norm just a few years ago. Today, decisions are required within hours or even seconds.

According to a Gartner report, nearly three-quarters of CFOs (72 percent) are focused on improving budgeting and forecasting agility this year. More than half also commit to reallocating capital due to fluctuating demand (60 percent). Almost as many (58 percent) are striving to redefine the employee value proposition within these newly launched hybrid work environments. Another Gartner report found that the primary role of CFOs over the next 12 months is to fund new or existing growth.

When finance leaders expect results, they need a modern data strategy that enables agile decision making and more accurate forecasting and scenario planning. The heart of this is the real-time flow of high-quality data.

See also: Financial services 2022: Customer experience is a top priority

Agility – essential for business success, critical for data modernization

Agility has quickly become a critical aspect of any organization. According to a report by Accenture, many banking CEOs believe that had they adopted cloud technology earlier, they would have been more agile in responding to the many disruptions of the pandemic. This will be a key driver of inquiry, strategy and investment for years to come as business leaders reflect on what they could and should have done to adapt to the onslaught of unexpected challenges.

And if they want to become more agile, they must first modernize their data strategy. With speed being of the utmost importance – both in launching new products and services and in responding to market demands and world events – companies can’t wait to catch up. If you don’t act now, you’ll be light years behind your competitors.

As a result, speed has become an organization-wide imperative, and that’s affecting how companies operate and how finance leaders support – and empower – everyone to work faster. By becoming more agile, companies can more easily evolve their strategies and solutions. More importantly, they can better prepare to move agile and respond to ever-changing and ever-evolving market forces.

Insights – invaluable for finance leaders and decision makers

Data empowers finance leaders with a clear vision and focused strategy to improve operational efficiencies in our increasingly challenging world.

Leaders must not only embrace an environment of constant change, but also support more effective decision-making that aligns growth goals and cost control. The ability to make faster predictions by leveraging the data accessible through modern platforms and adopting technologies like cloud, AI and automation will enable the innovation and speed needed to stay on top and deliver differentiated customer experiences all in one cater to a rapidly developing market.

See what behavioral data can do for you. [Watch demo now]

Constraints – It’s time to eliminate data boundaries while protecting data

There is a dizzying array of analytical tools available, but the tools often suffer because they don’t have access to the high-quality data they need. Modern self-service analytics rely on integration and a careful catalog of data to get the most out of analytics tools. These modern catalogs help to understand, inventory and protect data. This ensures the right types of data are put to good use while tagging and controlling sensitive and private data.

Given that data sources are growing very rapidly, today’s modern data analytics solutions must be able to access insights from multiple data sources. From modern cloud data centers and on-premises storage to data lakes and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to data silos and more, CFOs need limitless flexibility to collect and use their data.

Data and analytics are the key differentiators businesses need now

These are exciting but uncertain times and it is imperative that Chief Finance Executives stay at the top of their game. They may be more challenged than ever, but data and analytics can help them persevere. It’s an uphill battle, but actionable insights make the difference and empower organizations to move forward with data. And when they do, CFOs will be able to guide their respective companies through difficult situations and better navigate black swan events.

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