Why CFOs should be Analytics advocates

CFOs sometimes feel removed from the specific decisions surrounding the undertaking of advanced analytics programs. The view is that working out the goals and implementation is for IT and the business partners. However, CFOs should be the first advocates of analytics programs as they have the most to gain from them.

Recent studies have shown that organisations with advanced analytics programs can receive three times the return on equity. While not all of this can be explicitly attributed to analytics, having a data-driven and analytical culture in an organisation (driven by top leadership) can drive other groups to be more analytically minded. It encourages people to be more inquisitive and participatory. 

Bring in stakeholders

You can achieve this by involving stakeholders at all levels of the business. Give team members access to tools and data (provisioned with appropriate security) and allow them to input into strategic decisions can be more robust and ultimately lead to better business practices. 

Imagine the number of ideas that could be available if everyone in the organisation were encouraged to explore and actively come forward with ideas. This type of empowerment can lead not only to increased efficiencies (and cost savings) but also to new opportunities in previously unexplored markets or lines of business. This is the backbone of increased equity returns. 

Analytics = better for the customer

It’s also been proven across multiple case studies that the majority of customers will pay a premium for a better customer experience. Advanced, carefully implemented, analytics programs can provide detailed customer insight can help deliver a customised experience. 

This, in turn, increases margins and revenue – two things that CFOs diligently track. A customised user experience can help Sales organisations to close deals more quickly, which can speed up the rate of revenue recognition, as well as increase the win-rate. This is critical to the CFO and showcases the power of an advanced analytics program. 

Get your goals in order

Analytics programs can also streamline goal tracking and measurement, which allows leadership to identify anomalies quickly, address issues, and capitalise on wins. Ultimately, that increases operational efficiencies and margins. CFOs will have greater access to real-time data to make more informed decisions and report to other leadership with more confidence and certainty.

There are specific financial gains that you can directly attribute to an advanced analytics program. If you couple that with the promotion of collaboration and insight off the back of those analytics, it is integral to the success of an organisation’s strategy and financial health.

It is the perfect argument why a CFO should be the first advocate of an analytics program.

Rachel Stuve is a technical and strategic leader with 15+ years of experience and passion for analytics and data-driven decision making, innovation, and proactive guidance for mid-sized to Fortune 100 companies across multiple industries.

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