The finance department has long been rich in data. Ever since the widespread automated financial activity through the adoption of ERP, financial decision-makers have had a wealth of information at their disposal.
However, as the last few years and the wave of “big data” have taught us, raw information on its own doesn’t equate to actionable insight. While financial activities like budgeting, forecasting, and reporting have traditionally been a natural fit for analytical technologies, proving a sound business case for implementing such tools has never been trivial. These days however, the case is clearer. In order to exploit the power of analytics and improve performance, companies have become more mature and rely on internal capabilities including.
- Open (and secure) cross-functional data exchange. Finance leaders have a heightened need to reach into a wide variety of data sources and functions across the company. Best-in-Class organizations have an open exchange of data across functions to help enable and enrich financial analysis.
- Established policies for governing / controlling enduser data access. Before a company can unleash its analytical potential, it is necessary to put controls in place to make sure the right people are accessing the right data. Best-in-Class financial executives are 65% more likely to have these controls in place.
- Data exploration and discovery tools. Traditional reporting tools will always have their place in finance, but today’s business leaders understand the value of exploring data, developing analyses, and answering their own questions. Top companies are twice as likely as all others to use data discovery tools
With a strong foundation of capabilities such as these, and a judicious use of technology, companies that have developed a formal analytical strategy are enjoying the fruits of their labor in the form of business performance.
As an analytically-inclined decision maker, nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a key piece of information to become available in order to make a decision. According to Aberdeen’s research, Best-in-Class companies using analytics are 41% more likely to get information on-time without having to wait. Closely tied to their faster decisions, top companies are also more effective at closing the books on time. Finding the right information at the right time enables more productivity across the board and smoother reporting to help accelerate the financial filing process. Finally, with these two aspects in place, tangible business results are a natural outcome — in this case
profitability. These companies rely on an efficient flow of information to identify and exploit more business opportunities.
To learn more, join us on Thursday, September 22nd at 1pm EST for a live webinar, The Analytical Edge in Finance: Enhanced and Accelerated Decisions.