Budget managers and CFOs are becoming more involved in the strategy and planning side of business. While this is a change from the past, no doubt it’s a positive step in the right direction.
CFOs and budget managers have always had plenty of insights and data to offer the rest of the management team, yet have often been relegated to ‘number crunching.’ Now they can become a more vital part of the business strategy and decision making process.
Financial dashboards are one technological advancement that has helped those in finance get more involved in strategy, planning and implementation.
As a tool, financial dashboard reporting can be the key for budget managers and CFOs to get a seat at the table when it comes to business decisions. That’s just one of the reasons being able to create dashboards—or better, truly mastering data analytics—can be so empowering.
I want to share with you a bit about why I think gaining a mastery of dashboards and an understanding of data is such a valuable skill set for the future.
Data Continues to Increase
Today CFOs and budget managers have access to an incredible amount of data. And it’s only growing as the era of big data is upon us.
According to a post on CFO.com, the amount of data a business has doubles roughly every 12 months. And technology futurists project that it could soon double every 12 hours.
There’s no doubt the increasing amounts of data poses a challenge for many businesses. This is especially true for decision makers who might not have complete access to data or a total understanding of the numbers.
Here’s where financial dashboards can become a financial manager’s trusted companion. Mastering dashboards can help CFOs become invaluable by providing vital information to decision makers.
Financial Dashboard Reporting: Show, Don’t Tell
All too often, as any CFO or budget manager will attest, eyes around the conference room table can glaze over when it comes time to talk about the numbers.
Unfortunately, this puts the business in a precarious position. Incredibly useful information for decision making, including identification of potential risks and opportunities, could be missed as stakeholders suffer from data overload.
Thankfully, there are solutions available. Financial dashboards can now be created in minutes which means otherwise complex data can be displayed more easily.
The biggest advantage to any financial professional who masters financial dashboard reporting is the ability to simply and quickly tell a story. Dashboards enable CFOs to simplify information and present it in visual ways as charts and graphs, helping decision makers truly understand the data to make the right decisions.
Find the Actionable Metrics
While having a lot of data at your fingertips is often a good thing, the biggest struggle for many is deciphering what data really matters.
Unfortunately, many businesses are still paying attention to ‘vanity metrics’ that look nice on paper, but don’t actually provide much actionable information.
This is another area where dashboards can prove useful. Create financial dashboards based on data that matters and highlight key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the true drivers of the business and the numbers that give you an accurate snapshot of how you are performing at any given time.
Dashboards can highlight those KPIs, and let the vanity metrics fall to the wayside. Decision makers who know what metrics to actually pay attention to are going to have a much easier time crafting and adjusting strategy around them.
The benefits of gaining mastery in financial dashboard reporting to both the CFO and business far exceed the effort to become proficient. Learning how to consume large amounts of data and present valuable metrics in simplified ways is an increasingly important skill for the future.
Register for Our Free Financial Reporting Webinar
If you’d like to learn more about how you can harness the power of financial dashboards as a collaborative tool, click to register for a free live webinar we’re hosting this week: Mastering Dashboards to Deliver Strategic Value from FP&A.
Businesses of every description rely on the Budget Maestro™ family of software solutions by Centage Corporation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business budgeting and planning, financial forecasting, financial consolidation and reporting processes. For more information, take a tour of Budget Maestro, contact Centage, or call 800-366-5111 now.