“Data driven insights” is the new buzz word, without which it is becoming increasingly hard for CFOs to make informed business decisions. This new buzz word is also the key differentiator between enterprises that are soaring and those that are struggling. Much of this critical data resides in the finance department. With the ever changing market dynamics, there is a desperate need for instant data driven insights. A delay could mean lost opportunity or potentially a critically wrong business decision.

The following is a quote from CFO.com

Quote

“In a recent survey of senior finance executives conducted by CFO Research, 87% of respondents confirmed that managers will need to analyse financial and performance data much more quickly in order to meet the companies’ targets for profitable growth. But, despite the “need for speed”, only 12% of survey respondents indicate that their finance function can respond to requests from business managers in “real time”. More than half say it typically takes finance staff up to one day to respond to business units’ requests for information and analysis, and more than a quarter say that it takes longer than a day.”

Unquote

Most companies have invested in robust ERP software’s to the point that they now have access to a whole lot of information which they never had before. But very few have progressed from this stage to actually analysing the data or deriving “data driven insights” to help make intelligent business decisions.

A change in mind set is required. CEO’s and CFOs often times look at software as an expensive capital expenditure. Because of this, they tend to delay the procurement and implementation as much as possible, until it becomes unavoidable. And then, it is expected to be implemented as of yesterday and work like magic.

Instead, it would be a lot easier if we could put a dollar value against the cost of “Not” having a Business Intelligence tool. It’s impossible to accurately determine how much potential revenue or profits is missed out, due to the lack of data driven insights.

When the market dynamics are challenging, delayed information is as bad as denied information. The CFO gets an insight into company data a bit too late.

Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management are critical tools a business needs to effectively manage the ever changing market conditions. CFOs and CEOs can only grow the business by making “insightful” & “timely” decisions.

Some companies lack insight because of departmental silos. This has caused data to be too scattered and bringing them together is too complicated. Some other companies have great data, but are not able to consolidate them easily. It takes time. Making insightful delayed decisions result in lost opportunities.

In conclusion, BI & CPM is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s not an expense, it’s an investment.

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Santosh Chandran is the Business Development Manager for BOARD Management Intelligence at Olympic Software. He regularly blogs about business intelligence and corporate performance management. You can follow him on Twitter  or on LinkedIn.  Please contact him directly if you would like to find out how BOARD can improve your business results through better decision making, phone 09 980 3964 or email: santoshc@olympic.co.nz