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Finance teams must learn and embrace the power of analytics

by Mike Jones in Data Analytics 06/10/2020

The pandemic has caused a transformation of plans and priorities for many industries. Something that a business may have taken for granted has become a major asset in the current climate. In the finance industry, Covid-19 has had an instant and dramatic impact on the value associated with certain roles in finance.

Finance professionals and accountants are being more widely recognised for their useful insights related to financial metrics, enabling businesses to identify and determine their course for financial survival.

Data has been cast in the spotlight throughout the pandemic, with regular updates on infection rates and their associated impacts. This information and representation of data are very applicable to the overall health of a business. What has become more critical than ever is delivering real-time insights capable of supporting a management team in making the most effective decisions possible?

Recent studies are urging finance teams to break free of their comfort area and embrace the opportunities available with big data and analytics. Finance teams can play a leading role in supporting business decisions, driven by insights gathered from data analysis, as opposed to relying on historical trends and patterns.

Unfortunately, reports suggest that very few financial professionals have moved away from their traditional reporting methods. Many finance teams are still reliant on dated analytical tools or basing their plans on past performance tools. Right now there is a significant need to invest in innovative analytical tools. Finance professionals need to ensure they are expanding and creating skills to enable progressive insights for their business.

Nations are starting to embrace the tools available for finance professionals, enabling individuals the opportunity to understand and apply the insights that data can offer. Advances in technology have considerably increased the amount of data and information available to us. This data offers valuable insight and can deliver highly effective decision-making tools.

The pandemic has accelerated the need for businesses to be adaptive and capable of restructuring their plans with new scenarios and opportunities as they develop. Finance professionals have the option of using innovative tools such as predictive analytics to understand what could happen in the future and prescriptive analytics which goes even further by providing decisive measures.

These forward-thinking tools can help determine future performance and support leaders in delivering the most effective plans. CFO’s are increasingly becoming a more important part of the entire decision-making process for an organisation. Data and analytics have the potential to enhance business efficiency, support risk management, planning, budgeting and forecasting.

Nearly all of us are having to adapt and become more flexible in a world driven by advancing technology, and this transformation has been accelerated further by the pandemic. Finance professionals can rise to the challenge and potentially play a critical role in maintaining a business and making it more sustainable for the future.