Data, Analytics, and the Changing Role of the CFO

By December 16, 2015Technology
Predictive Analytics

As the dependence on data analytics grows, no one is in a better position to optimize the results than the CFO.

Lowering costs, beating the competition, increasing productivity: the pressures on today’s CFOs and finance professionals have never been greater. What differentiates the successful players from the rest is their willingness to embrace new technology, analytics, and processes. Successful CFOs have a singular focus on gathering the best, most accurate and most relevant data that will give them that leg up that is necessary to meet their goals.

If anyone doubts exactly how much value data adds to treasury’s efforts, a November issue of CFO magazine should put those doubts to rest. The article, “How ‘Data-Driven’ CFOs Are Leading the C-Suite,” actually acts as an introduction and link to six different articles that track how finance professionals are making the best use of data and analytics. The article states that, too often, these executives are working with outdated IT software and processes and that means they aren’t getting the necessary higher value analysis and insights. The conclusion: “Accurate information stemming from a “data-driven” approach is what will lead them to profitable decision making.”

Each of the linked articles looks into different aspects of data-gathering and analytics and illustrates why these tasks play such a vital role in a company’s success. Three of the articles directly address just how important this is to the CFO role:

A Manual for the Data-Driven Finance Chief tracks how leading CFOs are leveraging analytics to develop valuable insights and then making decisions based on those data-backed insights. It discusses the need for an agile analytics operating model and details how that can drive high performance in finance and in the enterprise as a whole.Mastering Predictive Analytics centers around this practice of “extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends.” In

Mastering Predictive Analytics centers around this practice of “extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends.” In a world where CFOs need to figuratively channel Nostradamus to see what’s coming up in the very near future, the ability to use predictive analytics is a highly-valued skillset.

Why CFO Should Own Analytics discusses how the CFO is the logical choice within the organization to drive the pursuit and use of analytics since that position already is in control of huge reams of data from the finance, procurement, and customer service departments. CFOs are in a prime position to use data to affect operational productivity and develop more strategic positions.

Read the full, linked articles above to see if your finance organization making the most of the data you have.

Mike Rowbotham

About Mike Rowbotham

Mike Rowbotham is Vice President of Strategy & Innovation for AmeriQuest Business Services. He is responsible for establishing the company’s overall strategic direction, which includes identifying inorganic growth opportunities. He also drives organic growth through product innovation and market expansion. Previously, Mike developed leading-edge network and infrastructure systems of AmeriQuest and its subsidiary companies to successfully accommodate AmeriQuest’s high-growth strategy.

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