Financial leaders are ready for modern data strategies

The data provides financial leaders with a clear vision and a focused strategy to improve operational efficiency in an increasingly difficult world.

In the not too distant past, the chief financial officer role was to create financial plans at the beginning of the year and to report on the progress of those plans in order to understand cash flow and liquidity. This would slow or slow key strategic spending. This careful monitoring of metrics was, in many ways, the way business intelligence was born. It was the dawn of Balanced Scorecards, financial metrics, and careful plan tracking against actual data.

Faced with a world characterized by increased business speed, increased market risk and accelerated digital transformation, forward-thinking companies are now demanding more from CFOs. Today’s CFOs are moving from balance sheet keepers to strategic partners on the path to business growth. Increasingly, this partnership revolves around analysis. CFOs are asked to predict market conditions and currency risks, improve credit modeling in real time, and provide much more real-time feedback on the effectiveness of business strategies. A lot has been put on their plate, which requires a transition from the world of the batch-oriented data warehouse to something much more modern and agile.

If CFOs are to overcome the challenges of today’s climate, they need modern strategies and solutions that leverage real-time data and analytics to fuel more timely and accurate decision making.

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

Every financial leader’s first job is to make smart numbers-based decisions. What has changed is the expectation regarding the speed of these decisions. While monthly and quarterly analyzes were the norm just a few years ago, decisions are now needed in hours or even seconds.

According to a Gartner report, nearly three-quarters of CFOs (72%) are focusing on improving budget and forecast flexibility this year. More than half is also engaged in the reallocation of capital on the basis of fluctuating demands (60%). Almost as many (58%) are striving to redefine the value proposition of employees within these new hybrid work environments that have been introduced. Another Gartner report found that CFOs’ number one job over the next 12 months is financing new or existing growth.

If financial leaders expect to deliver results, they will need a modern data strategy that enables agile decision making and more accurate forecasting and scenario planning. At the heart of this is the real-time flow of high-quality data.

See also: Financial Services 2022: customer experience looms large

Agility: essential for business success, critical for data modernization

Agility has quickly become a critical aspect of any organization. According to an Accenture report, a large number of banking CEOs believe that if they had embraced cloud technology earlier, they would have been more agile in responding to the pandemic’s many outages. This will be an important engine of examination, strategy and investment for years to come as business leaders think about what they could and should have done to adapt to the onslaught of unforeseen challenges.

And if they want to become more agile, they will first need to modernize their data strategy. With speed of the utmost importance, both in introducing new products and services, and in responding to market needs and world events, businesses are eager to catch up. If they are not taking action now, they are already light years behind their competitors.

As a result, speed has become imperative for the entire organization, and that impacts how companies operate and how financial leaders support – and enable – everyone to run faster. By becoming more agile, companies can more readily evolve their strategies and solutions. More significantly, they can better prepare to move nimbly and respond to ever-changing and ever-changing market forces.

Insights: Valuable for financial leaders and decision-making

The data provides financial leaders with a clear vision and a focused strategy to improve operational efficiency in an increasingly difficult world.

In addition to embracing an environment of constant change, leaders must support more effective decision making that aligns growth goals and cost control. The ability to make faster predictions by leveraging data accessible through modern platforms and adopting technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence and automation will enable the innovation and speed needed to stay ahead and deliver differentiated customer experiences in a rapidly changing market.

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

Limitations: Time to eliminate data boundaries while protecting data

A dizzying array of analytics tools are available, but the tools often suffer from lacking access to the high-quality data they need. Modern self-service analytics relies on integration and an accurate catalog of data to make the most of analytics tools. These modern catalogs help understand, inventory and protect data. This ensures that the right types of data are best used while sensitive and private data is labeled and controlled.

Considering that data sources are growing at a very rapid pace, today’s modern analytics solutions need to be able to access insights from multiple data sources. From modern cloud data centers and on-premise storage, to data lakes and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, data silos and more, CFOs need unlimited flexibility to collect and use their data.

Data and analytics are the critical differentiators that businesses need now

These are exciting but uncertain times and it is imperative that CEOs stay at the top of their game. They may be more challenged than ever, but the data and analytics can help them persist. It’s an uphill battle, but actionable insights make a difference, enabling companies to lead with data. And when they do, CFOs will be able to guide their respective companies through difficult situations and better navigate the events of the Black Swan.

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