This post is about how Business Intelligence is transforming finance departments. Wayne Eckerson of TDWI has a terrific webinar about this subject. He presents that traditional record keeping role of finance department no longer meets the needs of the ever increasing competitive business landscape. Rightly so, finance departments need to transform so that they can directly contribute to both the top and the bottom line. Such contributions would be in the form of helping the CEO make more profitable decisions.
Wayne argues that finance departments are uniquely positioned to do so, simply because they sit in the nexus of corporate information. Continuously collecting data from across the organization enables finance departments to capture the full picture. This is possible only if they have the means to analyze large amounts of data from different systems, formats, and timestamps. This is a daunting task when the only tool you have is oceans of spreadsheets created from unaudited macros. Business Intelligence can help you accomplish all of that and more, faster, more accurately, and at a lower cost.
Some of the benefits of Business Intelligence for SMB (and for that matter any size organization) are:
- In a CEO meeting, everyone agrees on revenue, profit and cost, and they discuss plans and actions to better achieve corporate goals, as oppose to arguing over the numbers.
- CFO can check the company’s overall profit/lost position daily, and with a click of a button, can view the contribution of every group, region and individual and then identify areas of business that requires his/her attention.
- VP of Finance can monitor company progress towards achieving corporate goals, without IT assistant.
- Controller can automate consolidations of financial transaction across all business units in couple of seconds and prepare period statuary reports in a few hours or days.
- Financial analyst can go to one place to prepare ad-hoc analysis for executives or run standard reports without having to do countless conversions using custom rules and macros in unaudited and error prone spreadsheets.
Business Intelligence is not a replacement for spreadsheets; instead it helps number crunchers to access more accurate data, faster, with less effort, and higher level of trust.
Business intelligence also helps with proactive delivery of highly personalized reports and analytics, which is not possible by spreadsheet technology.
Common applications of Business Intelligence in finance department are:
- Financial reporting and analysis
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Profit/loss analysis
- Regulatory compliance and reporting
If you are not taking advantage of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence benefits, this is a great time to contact your trusted technology partner to find out how your business could benefit from these new power tools.
Specializing in predictive analysis, AnalyticsPoint constructs executive dashboard software and other business intelligence tools to gather and organize business objects so that executives can maximize benefits from performance management software. Tools such as a data warehouse and balanced scorecard are used to enhance enterprise business intelligence so that companies can understand and react to circumstances and opportunity with lightning speed and precision.
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