In business, data and analytics are becoming increasingly important. Eighty-five percent of CEOs said the CFO´s ability to gather and analyze data is the surest road to profitable growth. We present you four key areas you should explore if you want to optimally integrate data and analytics into your business.
CFO position is traditionally associated with the ability to work with numbers and finances. However, given the dynamics of the business environment and advanced technology it is far from enough. This was confirmed by the results of the KPMG survey among CEOs, who said that their expectations from CFOs are much higher. The ability to manage the firm´s finances remains an obvious skill of every CFO, but 85 percent of CEOs considers the application of financial data to achieve profitable growth as a major strategic value a CFO can bring to an organization.
It is very important that the resulting analysis as accurate as possible. In this regard, companies rely on new digital technologies to secure data processing as well as to create space for analytics and bringing new ideas to the business. In the past, managers devoted 80 percent of their time to gathering information and only 20 percent to processing and analytics. Nowadays, this ratio may gradually turn with greater emphasis on understanding the data instead of pure provision of information without added value and wider context for the company.
Many companies and their executives are fully aware of the challenges associated with the data and analytics. In this case, one approach suitable for all does not exist, but to achieve the optimal use of data analytics, these following areas are the most important to focus on:
As we indicated in the introduction, to achieve the optimal benefits from data and analytics it is important that the executive management embrace it as one of the cornerstones of the business. The top level approach is naturally the most effective across all key areas mentioned below.
For obtaining important information from the data for business development purposes it is essential to build awareness among employees of the importance of collecting information at any stage of contact with existing as well as prospective clients. They should also be led to develop new operational, tactical and strategic plans based on careful analysis of concrete data. Answers to clients problems and requirements should therefore be sought on the basis of available data. This will significantly help to maintain and give added value to the existing customers and attract new ones. Predictive models using data analytics can also help to predict three months in advance which people will want to leave the company. Thank to timely reaction and application of appropriate interventions firms can retain valuable employees. Predictive data analytics also helps to identify future needs and abundance of workforce. Interesting area in this context is the performance prediction of future employees before they enter the company, respectively, during first months of their employment.
It is a mistake to believe that the collection, storage and analysis of data are the domain of the IT departments. It concerns just as much marketing, HR, strategy or customer support departments. The IT section can play a stronger role in the development or maintenance of the data processing system that the rest of the firm can use to find answers to the questions on how to set the right marketing strategy, retain staff or improve the client experience.
For each company, the information contains immense value and in terms of maintaining competitive advantage are indispensable. In seeking to achieve an effective system for data collection and analytics, the importance of ensuring consistent data protection should not be ignored. There are many ways how to protect data, the most commonly used is encrypting. Organizations should also have a crisis plan in case of cyber-attack or data leakage. Many companies do not have any strategy ready for such events what can backfire badly in the future. A significant role also consists of raising awareness and regular training on data protection.