CFOs are inundated with the availability of data within companies of all sizes (including startups and small businesses). This has been tremendously beneficial for potential insights to improve strategy and operations within a company.
However, as a recent article in CFO Magazine titled “How to Be a Data-Driven CFO” points out, CFOs “… are now facing increased pressure to connect the dots between multiple data streams to identify patterns that will optimize a company’s growth and align its costs with its strategy.”
Along with the increased availability of data comes rising hopes and expectations about the role of a CFO as a business partner to a CEO or owner of a business:
“Nearly 70% of CFOs reported that digital developments are changing their profession and how their companies do business. CFOs are expected to be strategic partners in the C-suite responsible using data-driven insights to enhance profitability, efficiency, and operational success. This new kind of CFO is unlocking the power of big data in order to support his or her company’s long-term strategy and vision.”
The article has some practical suggestions on how a CFO can deal with potentially overwhelming amount of data and expectations. Some of these suggestions include:
Setting goals and objectives by utilizing the appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Ensuring data accuracy by establishing “consistent and strict guidelines for analytics are implemented and enforced across the organization.”
Seeking feedback from other areas throughout the company in order to adjust the data analytics to be more useful.