In a recent survey by CFO Research, senior finance executives stated that one of their biggest challenges was not having access to critical data to make better-informed decisions.
The survey threw up interesting stats, including 42% wanting more access to products’ profitability; 41% wanting better insights into customer profitability; and 32% stated they needed better visibility of revenue.
So, in a nutshell, a third of finance executives need better data and visibility regarding product profitability and revenue. Surely these are the most important factors finance executives need to know inside out? So why are so many struggling to obtain this information? The answer: they don’t have access to better data to fully understand their business insights. As a result, many are turning to technology to address this problem.
Business Intelligence is atop of the investment agenda
Leading analysts such as Gartner and Forrester report that Business Intelligence and Predictive Analytics is the top area of IT investment for senior executives throughout 2014.
With the colossal increase of data being collected by businesses, executives have been mulling over Big Data systems to help manage and extract more information to benefit their businesses.
The key here though is to choose a system that is suited to the business’ operations and delivers the information in a way that works. For example, is mobility important? Does the platform (on-premises or SaaS) play a part? Is it just executives that need the information, or will it be more beneficial to open it up to the business as a whole?
Once the correct system is found, the easier it is to pull insights that are tailored to your business.
After all, ROI will always be king
It’s proven that better data means better insights, but the end result still comes down to whether a Business Intelligence system will generate an ROI. From my experience working at sales-i, I have seen many of our customers such as Office 360º, MainMan Supplies and Global Brands gain instant ROI and business visibility. However, while it may not be the be all and end all for every business, it is definitely worth considering or even testing over a period of time. You have to remember that if you’re not considering Business Intelligence, your competitors are.
Integrating data is key
Currently, many executives are being forced to operate with one eye shut, meaning they may have some data, but not enough. They need all of their data compiled into a single system; a system that will deliver critical information in real-time, on any device in seconds. Therefore, it’s time to ditch the spreadsheets and better integrate data sets.
It’s by no means a change in business process, more like streamlining what they already have and getting the full value out of the data they’ve got. After all, a third of senior finance executives would benefit from better data.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that better data would give your business better insights? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.